Understanding China Helps You Know the World and Know Yourself
Can We Trust
'Made in China'? How to Start an IT-Company in China A Policy to Improve Sino-US Ties The Other Side of Financial Downturn PLUS: Oriental Interior Design - Chinese Style Christmas Trip to Hong Kong on a Budget Enigmas of Chinese Beauty Lord Russell on China and the West Published by iChina Media Group & KF Publishing Company Group, U.S.A
The Letter from the editor
From financial bailout to presidential election in the U.S., from tainted milk to Shenzhou VII in China, the past month has been mixed with happiness, concerns, surprise, and hope. The U.S. is undergoing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Wall Street plunged, unemployment rate hit historic high, and consumers spending drops to the lowest since 1980. At the other side of the globe, China, again, is being put in spotlight because of tainted food crisis. Questions arise about economy, business ethics, regulations, laws and so forth, We canâ€™t help but wonder where we are going. Just as my friends asked me about the impact the U.S. financial crisis had in my daily life, I asked them how the food safety crisis and economic woes in China had affected them. Not surprisingly, neither party is crisis-proof, as we live in such a small world that we are woven into a big network, where a move on one end will always touch the people on the other . We have been sparing no efforts on moving forward and focusing so much on maximizing profit margin that we may have overlooked basic game rules. However, as we say, the worst of time may be the best of time. I regard challenges as opportunities. When China announced a $586 billion economic stimulus plan to construct new railways, subways and airports and to rebuild communities devastated by Wenchuan earthquake in the southwest in May, I saw hope. Even though Chinaâ€™s economy has slowed down, it would still remain a source for global growth. That being said, troubles are still troubles. I have friends laid off. They have to cancel holiday vacations, and have a hard time getting a loan. My thought goes to you, my dear readers. How have you been handling these very unusual times? Are you optimistic or very worried? Have you adjusted your plans for next year? Have you changed your lifestyle? I hope you will e-mail me and share your thoughts and stories with me, and I'd like to print your responses in the next issues of iChina magazine.
Editor: May Ouyang November, 2008
There are two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton
Thanks to our volunteers! Ming Zhang; Li Wang; Tianwei Li; Yong Chen; Haidong Liu; Hao Tang; Xiaosu Huang; Zhen Li; Heng Guo; Xin Guan; Dan Cheng; Li Yang; Qiangfang Du; Haining Du; Rui Min;Lu Cao; Jianjun He; Jing Shen; Yingying Chen; Shanfeng Chen; Jian Zhang; Wei Yang; Ying Zhang; Cliff Sze.
Editor in Chief April Zhang email@example.com Executive Editor Ping Wang firstname.lastname@example.org
C nA ahi RTS
02 A Policy to Improve Sino-US Ties 03 $41 Billion Flows into China County Sewage Facilities 04 Can We Trust 'Made in China?' 05 How Do Chinese Learn Chemistry? 05 Behind Made-in-China (MIC)
28 Artist: Yang Ge 32 Oriental Interior Design Chinese Style
Michael Smith email@example.com
42 Blue Sky Pure Earth - Wu Di's Tibet Travel Photo Diary 46 Christmas Trip to Hong Kong on a Budget
Copy Editor Alisha Karabinus firstname.lastname@example.org
06 China Economic System 07 China to Top Asian Consumer Markets in 2009 07 Five Imbalances in China's Economy 09 Labor Costs will Rise 10 The Other Side of Financial Downturn 11 How to Start an ITCompany in China
EATS 36 Tea 41 Boiled Peanuts and a Movie
ENTERTAINMENT 48 Modern Sky Festival - Rock n’ Roll 49 The Essentials 50 Astrology & Fortune 51 Readers’ Feedbacks 52 Survey and Subscription
14 Through the Kaleidoscope - the Same World in Seven People’s Eyes
CULTURE 22 Lord Russell on China and the West - History and Future 25 Enigmas of Chinese Beauty
Managing Editor May Ouyang email@example.com Associate Editor Kevin Atkinson firstname.lastname@example.org Elizabeth Steiner email@example.com Assistant Editor Lihua Wu firstname.lastname@example.org
Liang Liang email@example.com Art Director Jiangling Wu firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Designer Zi Chen email@example.com ---------------------------------------Marketing Director Wei Yuan firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation Director Sicheng Liao email@example.com Marketing Manager Yan Zhang firstname.lastname@example.org
Notoe: If you believe that your work has been reprinted in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please contact iChina’s Copyright Agent: email@example.com for more information.
Advisor Zhuo Li
For advertisement or subscription information, contact: Phone: 312-233-2087 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ichinamag.com
iChina is published monthly by iChina Media Group and KF Publishing Company Group.
A policy to improve Sino-US ties By James M.Zimmerman
Getting elected had been the top priority for the presidential candidates during this very dynamic 2008 campaign. But as the election closed, getting our relationship with China right should rank high on the agenda of the United States' leadership. The financial crisis and an economy in recession make this even more of an imperative because China is where the growth lies for a whole host of American industries. China and the US are opening a new c h a p t e r i n h i s t o r y. China has just completed a successful Olympics and a spacewalk, which are reflections of its continued growing stature and confidence on the world stage. At this critical moment in history, we need a clear-eyed, balanced view of China that provides a foundation for future policy. What has too often been missing in US-China commercial and political relations are the right tone and tact to enhance an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual understanding. In our bilateral relations, the most important part is frequently not what we say, but rather how and when we say it. When we single-mindedly draw attention to China's faults and treat the government's actions with public indignation, it should come as no surprise that China's leaders seem to become entrenched and defensive. While the next administration must maintain high expectations of China and raise our concerns to its leaders privately, we also need to give China the respect it desires and deserves since that will ultimately go a long way to helping the US achieve its goals. We need to recognize Chinese mainland's positive moves such as its dialogue with Taiwan, China's engagement with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and its efforts to improve relations with the Vatican among others. The same goes for the three decades of increasingly open diplomatic relations that have extended peace and stability in Asia, and the economic reforms that have elevated hundreds of millions of Chinese people out of a state of abject poverty. The next administration should acknowledge that China is going through an extended learning and maturing period that requires that the United States partner with China. The US took a leadership role in introducing China to the international institutions created post-World War II, such as
the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. We need to continue to take on this role. The world and the Chinese people have benefited from China's participation on the global stage. The Chinese are very clearly coming to appreciate what it means to be an active player in multilateral processes and a responsible international stakeholder, and we should encourage this. This is not to minimize the differences between our two countries; the US needs to continue e n g a g i n g China on its environmental problems, human rights record, product safety and the full opening of its markets. But enacting laws that would scold or punish China would only provoke the Chinese to respond by similarly limiting American imports or access for American businesses. Today, for a president to get the China policy "right" the executive branch needs to discourage counter-productive, knee-jerk reactions on the part of the legislative branch. In recent years Congressional attempts to set the agenda on US-China affairs have forced the administration into pointless, one-sided discussions with China just to keep things on course. These disparate agendas have inhibited the Bush Administration and Congress from speaking with one voice. The result has been a vacillating US-China policy ranging from subtle to actual threats of trade sanctions and containment. The lack of consistency in the US-China policy has frustrated leadership in Beijing. Without a clear voice from the American side, they are suspicious about the direction of the relationship with the United States. All
3 of this uncertainty puts US commercial interests in China at risk. With slowing growth in the US and the strain of the financial sector crisis, we need to focus on enhancing the US' global competitiveness which in turn means more jobs in the US and a stronger US economy. The US government can help to do this by offering more resources to support US company efforts to capture Chinese market opportunities, while ensuring laws and regulations facilitate commercial trade. In a shrinking world, the US economy will sputter or soar based on the success and competitiveness of American business globally - and especially in China. It is short-sighted to ignore the importance of China to the US' economic well-being. Indeed, China is a huge strategic market that is essential to most companies' growth forecasts, investments, customers, suppliers, partners,
By Li Jing
Approximately 280 billion yuan ($41 billion) will be spent on sewage treatment in 90 percent of counties nationwide as part of the central government's 4-trillionyuan economic stimulus package. About 2,600 counties will benefit from the building or upgrading of facilities, Qiu Baoxing, vice-minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, told a forum recently. A senior official from the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said: "This is the first time that there is a nationwide sewage treatment program." There are 2,862 county-level administrative divisions in the country. The size of their centers varies, with the bigger ones called cities and smaller ones county towns. Most of the large public infrastructure and industries are concentrated in the county centers. The completion of the program, planned for three years, will greatly improve local people's living standards, economists and environmental specialists said. Daniel Dudek, senior consultant to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, welcomed the program as it shows "how the Chinese government is putting environment together with development". Cai Xudong, a spokesperson for Veolia Water (China), said that the government's decision to expand environmental infrastructure will throw open business opportunities for technology providers like the Francebased company. Improving rural sewage treatment is one of the key efforts in environmental investment, according to Zhou Shengxian, MEP minister. In a speech last week, he said small, decentralized wastewater treatment facilities would be promoted in rural areas. Of China's 730 million rural population, 40 percent still do not have access to safe drinking water and 80 percent do not have sewage treatment facilities, according to Professor Zheng Zheng, an environmental specialist at Nanjing University. Untreated sewage is one of the factors contributing to water pollution and public health problems.
operations and employees. Amid all of the talk of China "stealing" American jobs, many are quick to ignore the role the world's most populous country plays in the US economy. According to the US Trade Representative's Office, since 2001, US exports to China have grown five times faster than they have to the rest of the world. In the last 10 years, China has gone from our 15th to 3rd largest export market. Nearly every state in the US has recorded triple-digit growth in exports to China since 2000, outpacing their exports to the rest of the world. When the dust settles after the election, the people of the United States need the president acknowledges when China takes positive steps, while delivering critical messages in private when necessary. We need the president to build partnerships and mentor China on the issues of importance to Americans, and seek China's help to solve global concerns involving energy resources, climate change, and other thorny issues. We do not need a president who only blames China for being part of the problem. The author is the chairman of the Beijing-based American Chamber of Commerce China, which is an organization of more than 2,800 members representing US commercial interests in China.
$41 billion flows into China county sewage facilities
Can we trust 'made in China?' By Joe Havely
In three decades China has come from nowhere to being the factory of the world. It may seem hard to remember, but it was only a little more than a couple of decades ago when the label 'made in China' was seen as something slightly exotic. Not any longer. Today, few of the things that we buy do not owe their existence in some way or another to the China factor. The bulk, if not all, of the computer you are using right now was almost certainly made in one of China's hundreds of tech factories - by a company and in a city you have probably never heard of. In barely three decades, the communist basket case once known as "Red China" has become the epicenter of globalization. In the 1980s, when China began to open its economy to the outside world, Chinese exports rose on average by 5.7 percent a year. By the 1990s, that figure grew to 12.4 percent, soaring to 20.3 percent between 2000 and 2003, and hitting 26.7 percent in 2006. Backed by its vast army of cheap labor, China's export-driven economy has created an unprecedented consumer boom that has encompassed the globe. According to the International Monetary Fund, China's export growth rate has been seven times that of the rest of the world in recent years. As a result, goods made in China have transformed the way the world shops. From the mega-malls of suburban America and Europe, to the bazaars of sub-Saharan Africa, products that might once have been out-of-reach luxury for many consumers have become an everyday affordability for the masses. The tainted milk scandal has again raised safety fears All thanks to China. Now, for example, a DVD player can be bought for barely more than the cost of one of the DVD movies to play in it. Laptops, cell phones and Christmas is coming. The Made in China products are everywhere.
other modern essentials all owe their prevalence to the fact that Chinese factories have been able to churn them out at an unbeatably low price. It has become the basis of our throw away society - an apparently infinite Aladdin's cave of goodies; the answer to the dreams of the world's shopaholics. But recently the sheen on this low-cost treasure has shown signs of wearing off. A series of safety alerts and product recalls have raised fears over Chinese-made goods ranging from toothpaste and processed shrimp to Thomas The Tank Engine toys. Now, we are again seeing China battles with a rapidly growing scare over dairy products contaminated with the toxic chemical melamine. Suddenly, it seems that the 'made in China' label might not be such good value – and may even be deadly. Western politicians and many pundits in the media have seized upon the issue to engage in a bout of China-bashing, accusing Chinese manufacturers of ruthlessly cutting corners in pursuit of profit at any price. Chinese consumers themselves are all too familiar with cases of fake or untested – and often deadly – pharmaceuticals. Four years ago, another scandal surrounding baby formula claimed the lives of dozens of infants. An investigation found that the formula had no nutritional value whatsoever – apparently part of a get-richquick scheme. Such cases are inexcusable and the latest scare over dairy products shows, once again, that China's monitoring and regulatory oversight of its fast-growing economy leaves much to be 'Chaotic.' Chinese producers face constant pressure to cut costs China's cabinet admitted earlier this week that deep, systemic failings were to blame."[The scandal] has shown us that the dairy market is chaotic, flaws exist in supervision mechanisms and supervision work is weak," China's leaders said in a statement released on state TV. But many Chinese manufacturers also complain they face immense pressure from their giant multinational competitor - not just to keep their prices low, but to repeatedly cut them, and to cut them again. Faced with growing wage demands from their workers, they are caught in a "Catch-22" situation. At the same time Western governments have protested indignantly at China's failure to enforce product safety laws demanded by the West. Many conveniently overlook the issue that, for years, they have helped fund tax cuts by freezing or cutting funding to their own agencies meant to monitor the safety of imports.
5 Question of confidence It is, perhaps, a case of wanting to "have your cake and eat it". The world demands cheap goods, but is unwilling to pay the price that covers the cost of producing them safely, or to put the monitoring systems in place to ensure standards. The uproar has understandably put China's leaders on the defensive; export trade is the backbone of China's economic growth, and the continuation of that
How do Chinese learn chemistry? From food!
Tainted chili sauce
ehind Made-In-China (MIC)
By Zhang Peng
I have read a book called "A Year Without MADE IN CHINA". In this book I found, as well as I found in many other situations, that a lot of American people consider MIC products as of very low price and corresponding quality. Many people would spend $ 523 on a product with a well-known international brand rather than $153 on a same product but labeled MIC. However, do you know where the $523 go? As a purchaser in the China purchasing center of a Fortune-500 company, I can tell you a fact. Take a well-known European company selling one Pallet Truck at $523 (including tax and Five-Year-Guarantee) in Europe. The company purchases the Pallet Truck from an international trader, who first purchased the Pallet Truck from a Chinese manufacturer for $153 (including tax and FiveYear-Guarantee). From January 2008 to October 2008, 6,805 pallet trucks were sold in Europe. Almost all customers are satisfied with the design and quality of the product, even though they have paid over 340% of the cost. Now you see MIC product can be of low cost and very good quality. But why do you get one totally different? I've talked with a lot of suppliers/exporters and found that: • A lot of American importers pay more attention to
1. From rice, they learn what is paraffin wax 2. From ham, they learn what is DDVP (C4H7Cl2O4P) 3. From salted eggs and chili sauce, they learn what is l-phenylazo-2-naphthol (aka sudan yellow ) 4. From steamboat, they learn what is formalin 5. From tremella fuciformis and candied date, they learn what is sulphur 6. From auricularia auricula, they learn what is copper sulphate 7.Today they learn melamine from milk
Tainted milk caused kidney stones in infants
price than quality and design; • These American importers are so good at their jobs that they know almost the baseline of the Chinese manufacturers; • Then they ask for a price that barely leaves any profit margins to Chinese manufacturers. But they always offer such a large quantity that makes it a big fish for some small manufacturers; • The small manufacturers take the offer, and in order to improve profit margins, they choose cheaper materials of poor quality. In this way, these American importers are able to sell such products to customers at a low price while maintaining their own profit. As a lot of customers don’t know the story behind the scene, when they meet problems with poor-quality MIC products, they are likely to put the blame on Chinese manufacturers. I am not here speaking for all small manufacturers. If they break basic business rules, they will not survive after all. However, as long as these importers exist, such manufacturers will exist as well. Therefore, we need to pay more attention to the quality gap. When we are suffering from the severe economic downturn, we are cutting in spending everywhere. MIC products can be a good solution to save every cent, but when you make choices, pay more attention to the traders.
Tainted auricularia auricula
growth is what China's leaders base their legitimacy on. That, in turn, depends on China's manufacturers moving up what economists call the "value chain" – essentially, making more expensive, more sophisticated goods that draw a higher profit margin. But to do that successfully requires confidence in Chinese-made goods. Confidence, ultimately, depends not just on low price, but on reliability and safety. Safety, comes at a price.
n the first 30 years after the founding of the PRC in 1949, the Chinese government carried out a system of planned economy. Targets and quotas for various spheres of economic development were set by the "planning committees" of the state. Factories produced goods and farmers planted crops according to state plans. Commercial departments replenished and sold their stocks also according to state plans. Qualities, quantities and prices of the goods were all fixed by planning departments. This system contributed to the stable, planned development of China's economy, but it also limited the development of the economy and sapped its vitality.
China's economic reforms began first in the rural areas in 1978, when the household contract responsibility system was introduced there. Under
China Economic System From Xinhua position. To meet the requirements of the market economy, the operations of state-owned enterprises should be changed so that they could fit in the modern enterprise system. A unified and open market system should be established to link the rural and urban markets, and the domestic and international markets, and to promote the optimization of the allocation of resources.
Rice, Oil, Cloth Token in 1960 of Shanghai. It is a symbol of China planed economy. People were given limited amount of tokens for purchase.
this system, farmers got the right to use land, plan farm work and dispose of products independently. Also, farmers had more choices for selling their agricultural products. State monopoly of the purchase and marketing of agricultural products was eliminated; prices of the majority of farm products were freed; many policies restricting agricultural development were abolished; and farmers were allowed to engage in diversified business and set up township enterprises. All these increased farm production. In 1984, the economic restructuring shifted from the rural areas to cities. In 1992, after some 10 years of reform and with an orientation toward the implementation of reforms and establishment of a socialist market economic system, the Chinese government set forth a series of principles for economic structural reform. In their planning, the development of diversified economic elements was encouraged while keeping the public sector of the economy in the dominant
In 80s, many times, people hold purchase tokens and money, but the stores have been out of merchandise.
The function of managing the economy by the government should be changed so as to establish a complete macro-control system mainly by indirect means. A distribution system should be established in which distribution according to work is dominant while giving priority to efficiency with due consideration to fairness. This system should encourage some people and some places to become rich first, and then they might help other people and places to become rich too. A social security system, suited to China's situation, for both rural and urban residents should be worked out so as to promote overall economic
development and ensure social stability. In 1987, the Chinese government set out an economic construction objective: The first step was to double the 1980 GNP and ensure that Chinese people would have enough food and clothing. China attained this by the end of the 1980s. The second step was to quadruple the 1980 GNP by end of the 20th century. This was achieved in 1995, ahead of time. The third step was to increase per-capita GNP to the level of the medium-developed countries by the mid-21st century. In 1997, the Chinese government stressed that non-public sectors of the economy were an important component part of the socialist economy of China, in which profitability was encouraged for elements of production, such as capital and technology. By 2002, reform in various fields was achieving remarkable results. A socialist market economic system has taken shape, and the basic role played by the market has been improved in the sphere of resources allocation. At the same time, the macro-control system continued to be improved. In March 2003, following the First Session of the 10th National People's Congress, China restructured these key economic ministries:
Nowadays, Free Market
7 The State Development and Planning Commission ("SDPC") was renamed the National Development and Reform Commission ("NDRC") which took on the duties of the State Council Office for Economic Restructuring and some functions of other ministries; The operations of the State Economic and Trade Commission ("SETC") and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
("MOFTEC") were combined into a new Ministry of Commerce responsible for oversight of all domestic and foreign trade. A new State Assets Management Commission ("SAMC") assumed responsibility for managing and restructuring state-owned enterprises ("SOEs"). A new China Banking Regulatory Commission ("CBRC") was given responsibility for supervising and
China to top Asian consumer markets in 2009 From CCER
been 13.1 percent. If the growth rate continues at just 10 percent, China's consumer market scale will exceed 30 trillion yuan (4.38 trillion U.S. dollars) by 2020. Chen predicted China will top the global luxury market by 2014, with a market share of 23 percent. He also said by 2015, the country could become the world's fourth largest provider of outbound tourists. Currently, China is the second largest consumer market in Asia next to Japan. According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group, done recently, China is likely to become the world's second largest consumer market next only to the Unites States.
Five imbalances in China's economy BY HU XINGDOU China has experienced high-speed economic growth for nearly thirty years, for which it has garnered a great deal of world attention. In 2007, China's economy surpassed Germany's and ranked third in the world. However, China faces many problems. It took Japan and Germany only twenty years to become wealthy countries after World War II. But in the case of the People's Republic of China, nearly 60 years have passed since it was established and 30 years since its reform policy began. The western regions and the majority of Chinese people in countryside are still poor; living standards of workers and farmers are low; the majority of Chinese does not have social security; private enterprises have
great difficulty moving forward; there are hardly any world-known Chinese brands; and technological education is stymied. All of these is the result of the seriously imbalanced development of China's economy. First, the momentum of economic growth is imbalanced. The driving force behind China's fast economic growth is foreign investment and exports. By contrast, domestic demand has remained low. This situation has caused problems including excessive investment in some areas, excessive lending, the growth of energy-consuming and polluting industries, imbalance in trade with other countries and excessive foreign exchange reserves. Foreign capital controls the
majority of Chinese industries that are engaged in trade, which poses a threat to the security of the national economy. A gap between the rich and poor is increasingly deeper, The lack of social security leads to low consumption. The entire economy relies too much on foreign trade. Imports and exports make up 70-80 percent of China's gross domestic product, whereas the figure is only about 20 percent in the United States and Japan. Second, economic distribution is imbalanced. China's current financial revenues amount to 4 trillion yuan (US$530 billion). If income outside the budget and financial system is counted, the figure would surpass 6 trillion yuan (US$800 billion).
By 2009 China will become the largest consumer market in Asia said Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming. Speaking at the 12th Xiamen International Trade and Investment Fair recently in the east Fujian Province, Chen predicted that entertainments, housing and tourism will expand their shares in domestic market. "As one of the world's fastest growing consumer markets, China is
a world leader in mobile phone sales, domestic tourism, and broadband network penetration," said Chen. He also noted China is the second largest seller and buyer of gold and automobiles in the world. The country ranks third in consumption of luxury items and health care supplies. The average per capita GDP reached $2,456 last year, said Chen, and consumption had bigger shares than investment for the first time in the nation's economic growth. For the past five years, China's annual consumption growth rate had
regulating the banking sector. The pattern, in which the public sector of the economy plays the main role and coexists with nonpublic sectors of the economy such as individual economy and privately owned economy for common development, has basically been established.
Hu Xingdou is professor of economics and China issues in the College of Humanities at the Beijing Institute of Technology. He is a researcher and writer on social issues, and an expert on social inequality. He is an advocate of the theories of a new socialist countryside, humanist economy and neosocialism. Although the government is rich, the people are poor. The total amount of workers' salaries makes up only 1215 percent of Chinaâ€™s GDP, which is far lower than the world average which is 40-50 percent. It can be said that the government's wealth is at the cost of the people's poverty. The more they are taxed, the poorer people become. Of the personal income tax China collects, 80 percent is from peopleâ€™s salaries, and 70 percent of value-added tax comes from farmers who purchase agricultural production materials. China's foreign exchange reserves have reached US $1.3 trillion, the highest in the world. But the more foreign exchange reserves and the more exports it has, the more strain there will be on the country's resources, environment, laborers' health and welfare, and the less income the people will have. More seriously, China's current tax system, its financial market, and its pattern of industrial development can only further enlarge the gap between the rich and the poor, and the domestic economic situation will continue to deteriorate. Third, Chinaâ€™s financial flow is imbalanced. Most bank funds flow to the monopolized state-owned enterprises, universities and real
estate industry. There is a massive heavy-chemical industry, as well as serious over-construction. The 300 million yuan (US$40 billion) credit to universities is worrying. In addition, 70-80 percent of funding for real estate projects comes from state banks. Excessive funds flowing into the housing market and the government monopoly on land are causing a rapid rise on housing prices. Meanwhile, capital markets fluctuate wildly owing to excess liquidity. Stock market are often manipulated by bankers and brokers. Also, there is a "policy market" - a nickname for China's stock market, implying that the government often uses policies to influence index. Stateowned enterprises with a monopoly on resources sell their stocks in overseas markets at low prices, which results in a massive outflow of profits overseas. The majority of medium or small stockholders within the country lose nearly everything including their initial capital. On the one hand, there is the so-called "liquidity prosperity," while on the other hand, there is the real "liquidity depression." Money can hardly come to construction in rural areas. Small and mediumsized enterprises also face financial difficulties; The remote western regions lack basic education, social
security and environmental protection. Fourth, economic competition is imbalanced, which is to say there is serious asymmetrical competition between the state-owned monopolies and private enterprises. Currently, a group of inefficient and ill-managed state-owned enterprises are listed among the world's top 500 companies, whereas private enterprises within the country have great difficulty surviving. If they didn't engage in profiteering and speculation, didn't collude with government officials, or didn't evade taxes, 80 percent of private enterprises would collapse immediately. It is hard for private enterprises to grow, establish their own brands, upgrade their technology, and access overseas markets, due to heavy taxes, financing difficulties, orientation toward low-end products, and meager profit margins. Fifth, the use of economic resources is imbalanced. At present, most of China's economic resources are utilized by all levels of government. The three main factors of a market economy - capital, land and cost of labor - are all controlled by the government, which results in an "authoritarian market economy" or a "bureaucratic market economy." The government's administrative costs are extremely high and the waste is astonishing. The "four public expenses" - food and drinks, vehicle purchases and maintenance, overseas travel and mansions built with public funds - together with the expenditures of the Communist Party, the National People's Congress, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Communist Youth League, Women's F e d e r a t i o n , Tr a d e U n i o n , a n d democratic parties, account for more
9 than 50 percent of the country's financial expenditures. There is a severe lack of investment in medical care, education, care for the elderly and other livelihood issues. These five imbalances are a big concern to the Chinese people. To resolve them, China needs new concepts of governance that include putting the people first, seeking harmony and fairness, as well as the new idea of "preserving the wealth of the people, not of the country." Next, China needs to establish a new system that features equal competition, fair distribution of resources, scientific development, democratic supervision, withdrawal of the government from the market, and protection of vulnerable groups., which is to say development of workers' unions, farmers' unions and other collective organizations should
abor costs will rise
he implementation of regulation for the Labor Contract Law issued last week by the State Council marks a much-needed effort to strike a balance between the protection of workers and labor market flexibility. By issuing the regulation, the authorities made it clear that labor contracts with no fixed termination dates do not amount to unbreakable "iron rice bowls" that may severely hurt enterprises' vitality. Employers in China may now be breathing a sigh of relief, but they should by no means slow their preparations for rising labor costs. The new Labor Contract Law, which came into effect on Jan 1, was hailed as a landmark step in protecting employees' rights. Among a number of stipulations to emphasize workers' welfare, one clause entitles employees of at least 10 years' standing to sign contracts without specific time limits, thus protecting them from dismissal without cause. Given the widening income gap, such a legislative effort to enhance the protection of workers was long overdue. Facts show that the law has
indeed been effective in boosting ordinary workers' welfare. Statistics indicated that as of June, the percentage of employees in different regions that had signed labor contracts was between 90 and 96 percent, up 3 to 8 percentage points from the end of last year. And the amount of collected social security funds - pensions, unemployment, medical, work injury and maternity insurance - also jumped 31 percent in the first half of 2008. Undoubtedly, this increase in workers' welfare will add to the mounting cost pressures on Chinese enterprises already caught between soaring commodity prices and weakening overseas demand. The case is even more serious for laborintensive enterprises. Domestic enterprises' complaints that the new law would inflate
and the poor. China should reduce enterprise taxes, expand the issuance of enterprise bonds, promote domestic demand, and improve economic efficiency. Funds should be channeled into rural construction, small and medium-sized enterprises and the culture industry. Chinese stock market should be regulated by law not by officials, which is to reduce manipulation by bankers and brokers and government interference. A property management system should be set up to collect taxes on mansions and second properties. Finally, China should carry out reforms in the political achievement system, shift the focus away from attracting capital and further reduce the export rebate rate.
operational costs have obviously got policymakers' ear. The central government issued a draft of the implementation regulation in May to solicit public opinion. The newly issued implementation of regulation for the Labor Contract Law, includes 14 conditions under which an employer can terminate an openended labor contract. These conditions include employees' incompetence, serious violations of regulations and dereliction of duty, as well as a company's restructuring or severe operational difficulties. Such a regulation should clarify misunderstandings and make the law more effective. Businesses no longer need to worry too much about that the "nofixed-term contract" stipulation will reduce flexibility in the domestic labor market and undermine their competitive advantages. Nevertheless, a gradual but steady rise in labor costs remains inevitable, if not imminent in China. Both the country's demographic change and the government's determination to raise workers' lot will make it wise for domestic enterprises to adapt themselves to higher labor cost as soon as possible.
be encouraged. China should consult the people and experts in developing legislation and abandon the practice of allowing government departments and interest groups to draft legislation. China should implement democratic decision making, set up an accountability system in the government and contain the expansion of privileged administrative power. China should encourage public interest litigation in the financial arena, establish a transparent financial system and reduce government expenditures. China also needs a system that punishes dereliction of duty among officials responsible for caring the peoples' livelihood. Profits from stateowned enterprises should go into areas that affect the people's wellbeing, increase benefits to workers, and narrow the gap between the rich
The other side of financial downturn
By Wu Jiao
She drives through crowded morning streets, zips past hundreds of thousands of people, squeezes her car into the parking space, and rushes to one of the countless skyscrapers to start work. Bridget Zhang seems to have planned out everything, except that she is not working in a country she had dreamed to. Zhang had left for the US after graduating from a top Chinese university and was determined to settle down there. But today, instead of being on a Los Angeles street, she is in the middle of China's financial hub, Shanghai. The US-trained communications professional used to work for a Los Angeles-based multinational intellectual property rights trading company. But when the company started feeling the pinch of the financial crisis, she simply quit her job and found one back home in July. "The Chinese are more vulnerable to the financial crisis because they often hold low level jobs on the corporate ladder in the US," she said, "and are thus easier to be laid off." The 28-year-old is just one of a growing number of US-educated Chinese professionals returning from their "dreamland" to start businesses or get jobs at home. It is natural for people like her to return home in these times, she said. Earlier time they retured just to cash in on the vast opportunities their fast developing homeland
offered. But now the global financial crisis, too, has hastened their return. The number of resumes from people educated or trained overseas has increased by about 15 percent a month recently, said a Beijing-based headhunter surnamed Lim. Government-designated development zones that enjoy industrial preferential policies have become the hot destination for some of the returning professionals. Liu Li, deputy director of Tianjin Hi-tech Industry Park's administrative committee, has seen an increasing number of such returned-from-oversea Chinese visiting the park. The park has a group of cutting-edge companies in the center of the fast-developing northern port city, Tianjin. "About 40 people consulted us last year. 15 of them settled in our park. In the past two months more than 50 people have visited the park for consultation. 17 of them have set up shop thereâ€?. Liu said Jimmy Chen, one of the 50 to visit the park, plans to open a unit there. The US-trained professional in biomedicine has worked in the US for more than 10 years. He is the vice-president of chemical and pharmaceutical research & development with DOV Pharmaceutical Inc, and holds 11 US-issued and 25 global patents. "Till a few years ago China was not ready for drug discovery and development business. But I see a huge growth opportunity now," he said.
How to start an ITcompany in China
An interview with Stefano N. Roncari Stefano N. Roncari, CEO of Eggsist Ltd Eggsist Limited is based in Beijing. Eggsist focuses on IT consulting for local and international enterprises, as well as on self-designed software applications targeting internet end-users. Eggsist's consulting ranges from strategic advising on software architectures to design and development of internet/intranet sites, web applications and 3G mobile software, to SEO and web marketing.
By Verena Bayer
Mr. Roncari: First, I believe China is an evolving market, where new comers can still find a relevant position. Then, my bet is on a very special target, that is, the increasing number of foreign companies interested in expanding their business in China or already set here, and requesting localized IT consulting. Besides, low starting costs and the extremely creative atmosphere that everyone breathes here certainly suggest China is an interesting market. Secondly, why an IT company? Well, first of all because my background is in the IT field: I've directed another company in Italy. Then because China provides a lot of young professionals who have good technical skills, good communication skills, and some kind of enthusiasm towards international cooperation. Finally, as a matter of fact, China has a huge market of internet users, young people interested in the new technologies and very familiar with web applications, which is the ideal market for Eggsist. V: When did you first come to China and what was your motivation? R: The first time I came to China was in October 2005. At that time I was the director of a small IT Company in Italy, which I temporarily delegated to my business partners to come here and “sniff the air,” since a strong interest was arising all around Europe towards the Chinese market. We felt it was the right moment to explore the ground, directly. We wanted to understand whether it was possible to actually access business opportunities here. I spent few months in China, basically to sense the different business culture and to “get into the network.” Then I went back to Italy, where I gradually defined the new business plan for China, together with my partners. I came back at the end of
2006, and started Eggsist Limited. V: What were your first impressions when you started the business? R: When I started Eggsist I had the feeling that everything was extremely easy, and I wondered where the trick was. Then I realized that there is actually no trick. The hard part of the job comes later, when we actually got to see that it's not possible to do things the same way you were used to, back in Europe. It's not possible to simply copy/transfer a business from Europe to China. You need to face a different set of habits, a different market, a different user taste, and you have to find out a different way to make your business successful. V: From having the idea, how long did it take to establish the Company? R: It took “Chabuduo” (more or less) six months. Of course this was not only for the company set-up, but mainly to explore the real business convenience (costs and market possibilities) and to select the right legal/commercial consultants to guide us through the whole set-up process. It's all about getting into the network. V: Has it been difficult to communicate with the local agencies? R: Not that much as there are some foreign consultants with consolidated experience, who can deal with local agencies while supporting you in a very effective and "western" way. Everything went smoothly during the whole set-up process. V: Has it been difficult to find appropriate staff for your business?
Verena: Why did you decide to start an IT company in China?
12 R: This was the greatest challenge for us. We are an IT Consulting Company: we provide services, we don't produce goods, so our raw materials are people and brains. In our work everything depends on the technical quality of human resources, and on the interaction among the people in the team. This was the main issue for us, as we had to face different ways of interacting, different ways of suggesting solutions, of managing the whole project lifecycle. So, it took a while for us to find people being both good technicians and "western-minded" professionals. This may sound funny (we've come to China and we're looking for western-minded people?) but, as a matter of fact, as an entrepreneur I have a certain business model in my mind, which is of course inspired by western principles and culture... and it also implies expecting a certain kind of feedback from the people I'm working with. The difficult thing was, and partially still is, to find the right balance between two different business and relational models. I don't want to assume that the Western model is absolutely the best. so the challenge is rather to find a right balance. This is what you have to do to deal with Chinese people, with Chinese market and with the local way of doing things. V: How was your move to China? Did everything go smoothly? R: I didn't have any problems. It was just about finding the right place. Where to live, to find the right office. And again, the only thing which took some time was to find the right connections. This is really a thing which I think people should take into account when they move to China and decide to set up a business in China. V: Was it easy to rent an office in Beijing? R: Yeah, this was no problem. The "agent" is very common and also quite convenient in China, so that you just have to hire a bunch of agents (with no commitment) and give them your office requirements, such as size and location. Some patience and a little bit of experience in the Chinese game of bargaining is the only thing you need to get a good solution. V: What do you like most about living in China?
R: Surprisingly it's not about the business, it's about the people. I really like their hospitality and their positive attitude towards “the other”, “the difference”, quite far from the western perspective towards immigrants or in general, towards different customs and habits. Also, the common relaxed attitude towards problems and social customs, as opposed to the Milanese stress coming from a crazy pace of life and strict social rules. If you are working here, it's so pleasant to get out of the office and fall into this atmosphere, with people dancing on the street, playing badminton or sitting in circles on wooden stools while playing majiang or chess... well, taking life easy. That improves life quality, I really believe that. V: What are the main differences between Chinese and Italian Business Culture? R: In my case the business c u l t u r e is nearly opposite, at least on two core issues: business s i z e a n d organization. First of all, size: Italy, and especially Northern I t a l y, i s t h e land of smallsized, familym a n a g e d firms; there are very few big enterprises, whereas here the standard is normally several dozens of employees. My business model for Eggsist was certainly affected by my original background, as our goal is to establish a selected team of excellent professionals. During our job interviews we often got a surprised feedback from candidates, who had some troubles in understanding the reason of such choice! Here everything works on big numbers, both on the production and on the market side. And that's radically different from the concept of an agile team of smart minds, where each member plays a crucial role. The second big difference, still related to the first one, is business organization: Chinese companies' business model is normally based on hierarchy, partially due to the need for dealing with their size itself. Keeping everything under control, and everyone in her/his place, is an easy way to keep a big organization together, in a market where efficiency is historically ensured by low labor cost efficiency. My business background is completely different, as in Italy a manager normally has to work on effectiveness,
13 meaning that he/she has to try and maximize every person's productiveness - fewer people, but autonomous and very productive. In modern business approach, this means to experiment new agile methodologies aiming to improve the value of every human resource. In the first months, we had a lot of troubles in trying to do that on our Chinese team, as it's a way of thinking which is really different, and it affects not only the way of doing business, but also the expectations of Chinese professionals themselves. V: Can you give us an example of a typical experience in China, which you wouldn't expect to happen in Europe at all? R: Well, there are many. When you see more than 20 people working on a small hole in the street, or when you see people walking around in pyjamas, or dancing in groups around a CD-player... or when you want to cross a street and get directed by a couple of yelling "traffic-lightassistants"... there are too many examples! V: What has been your worst / best experience in China?
V: And the worst experience? R: Unfortunately, this has to do with business! It's a member of our team, whom we really believed in, and trusted. But then, suddenly, he stopped coming to the office
START IT COMPANY IN CHINA
V: Is there anything else you would like to say, maybe a tip regarding starting a business in China? There is one thing I could suggest, according to my experience, and it is not to expect to just duplicate or transfer a business from â€œthe westâ€? to China because it's just not possible. I think everyone should take into account the fact that it's necessary to deal with different standards of communication, a different market, a different way of working, of hiring people and rewarding people for their work. So, I'd suggest to be as much curious and open-minded as possible, because here things work differently, and sometimes it takes a good amount of patience and flexibility to overcome the obstacles:. A well balanced mix of western and eastern principles is probably the best way to develop a successful business here. V: Thank you very much for the interview and good luck in the future with your IT Company Eggsist. (Reference: www.chinaorbit.com)
R: Let's start with the good one. I had the best human experience of my life, with people ready to help me with no other purpose: every day I met people willing to know about my country, my family, my work, and making me gifts just to express their desire to make a friend, and noone ever accepted any compensation from me, not even when they offered me a dinner or a room for the night.
with some random excuses, in the middle of a project... and, one week later, he let us know - by email! - that he had found another job! The thing is that this guy didn't send out any signal that there actually was some problem. Was it about money, about his project tasks, about Eggsist's way of working.? We didn't have the chance to try and find a solution. Unfortunately, talking to some other local entrepreneur, I got to know that here this is not unusual at all. It's kind of part of the local business culture, and companies deal with that. Again, it's probably because of a system where the individual value is not as emphasized as it is in Europe, so companies here normally manage roles rather than professionals. therefore people can be replaced quite easily.
Through the Kaleidoscope
- the same world in
seven Chinese peopleâ€™s eyes
Interview and photograph by Lihua Wu, Yan Zhang and Wendy Sui Edited by Sandy Bolter Although we live on the same earth and breathe the same air, we lead different lives. And it is the various perspectives from different people that colors up the world and facilitates mutual understanding. We have interviewed seven Chinese people with different backgrounds and ask them questions about their daily lives and opinions on several popular topics. These seven individuals were randomly selected, and each one of them is as usual as you and me. At the same time, each one may also be a representative of a certain group of people, such as students and middle class. Given their permissions, we are glad to share the questionnaires and their replies with you. Hopefully, you will see a more colorful world of Chinese people through the kaleidoscope.
Wang Meiling, Security Guard, Guangzhou, China
Zhang Juan, Waitress, Orlando, U.S.A
Xia Hui, Maketing Manager, Shanghai, China
Weng Zhaoyu, Student, Li Zhuo, Engineer, College Station, U.S.A Austin, U.S.A
Li Zi, Student, Beijing, China
Daniel Sui , Professor, College Station, U.S.A
Daniel Sui 隋殿志
Professor, VP for research at TAMU. Age: 43 Location: College Station, U.S.A
Can you tell me about your job?
I am a geographer specialized in geographic information science and technology, as well as their applications in monitoring environmental change and public health. I have teaching responsibilities at both graduate and undergraduate levels. In addition to teaching and research, I also hold a 25% administrative appointment at Texas A&M. My typical always consists of teaching classes, conducting research, fulfilling administrative duties (lots of meetings), and doing exercises whenever I have the time.
Let’s talk about your family. What are your family members doing?
Are you satisfied with your current status?
Having climbed all the academic ladders during the past 15 years, I believe I have entered what most academics called a cruising stage of my career – no longer have to worry about any tenure and promotion decisions, less pressure for publication and external funding, I must say I am quite content with my current situation – lots of freedom to conduct research in the areas I love, pass on what I know to my students, and server my university and my profession at multiple levels.
What is your plan for the future?
I plan to continue to see excellence in my research and teaching and serve my university and profession to the best of my ability.
If I were you, I would not pose questions like this because we can hardly separate the two in reality. Just like a person’s strength can also be his/her weakness, so is a culture or society. No matter how I answer this question, I may (and will) be misconstrued. The things I like and don’t like about China are the same – it really depends on the circumstance when we make our calls on whether we like them or not. Opinions on the hot topics
What do you think about HuKou policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable?
I do not like the Ku Hou system, which puts unnecessary constraints on people’s mobility. It will hamper China’s economic development in the long run. With this being said, I do understand why China has implemented the HuKou system. China has 1.3 billion people and 70% of them are still living in rural areas. If China doesn’t have a system of HuKou, the massive migration from rural to urban, poor (West) to rich (East) regions will create huge problems in China, which have already happened in some areas.
How do you think about the one child policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable?
The one couple, one child policy has been instrumental for China to achieve its goals of population control, but it has created its own problems, such as gender-imbalance, unbearable burdens for the one child to care of their parents and multiple grandparents.
What do you think about Tibet issue and FaLonggong?
I would reverse my age back to 24! I know that is impossible, but I always try my best to keep my mind and heart young.
I am surprised that quite a few Americans think Tibet is an independent country and I think China needs to do a better job to inform the world the story of Tibet and its current situation. I am all for freedom of speech and a greater tolerance for diverse religious practices. FaLunGong has become a political organization and the Chinese government has every right to intervene.
Why did you come to the U.S.? What do you like most and least about it?
Have you felt any impact from the recent global economy downturn?
If you could change one thing in your life, what would you have changed?
America is not a perfect society, but among all the countries I have visited so far, I think the American political system is the best in the world. On the other side, I still do not understand the culture of gun ownership in the U.S.– I strongly believe that a responsible society should ban assault weapons by individuals – period.
Not much, although I have lost 1/5 of my retirement savings, but I am not retiring any time soon and I still have time to catch up (I hope). (Interviewed by Yan Zhang, Oct 2008)
I consider myself a lucky guy with a very devoted and supportive wife. My wife also works at Texas A&M and we have a wonderful daughter who is a high-school sophomore. My daughter is a much much better swimmer than I am. Both my parents are in their mid 80s, retired long time ago. I have two older sisters and one older brother – all of them are back in China.
What do you like most and least about China?
Li Zhuo 李卓 Engineer, Age: 28 Location: Austin, U.S.A
Can you tell me about your job?
I work at IBM Austin Research lab, and my daily job is to research, design and develop tools and algorithms for electronic design automation software. When did you start this job? What did you do previously? I had been at a small startup company for about one year before I joined the lab here around June 2006.
What do you like most and least about your job? I really love my current job, and that’s basically why I chose it at the first place. I enjoy doing research and development and creating something valuable. I feel proud when my product is used by others. Let’s talk about your family. What do your family members do? I have been married for over seven years, and I have a twoand-a-half-year-old daughter, a real cute angel. I enjoy every moment I spend with her. Are you satisfied with your current status? Are you going to change your job in the near future? I enjoy my life and I think we are doing pretty well. We just bought a house, a cozy home for our family. And we have lots of friends here, from all over the world. I love my current job, and I don’t see myself leaving, unless I am laid off. What is your plan for the future? It is hard to predict anything in the future. I always want to strike a balance between work and life. I will keep building up my strength and making more contribution to the company, community, and society. And as a Chinese, I will do my best to promote mutual understanding between Chinese and American people. If you could change one thing in your life, what would you have changed? I am not the kind of person who would like to look backwards and regret. If there were one thing I could change, I would have helped my wife out during the first 3 months after my daughter was born and spent more time with my daughter. Why did you come to the U.S.? What do you like most and least about it? I came here for advanced education, and I wanted to broaden my horizon. I chose to stay here after graduation because I had better career opportunities in the U.S. than in
China. Here in the U.S., I like the natural environment, academic atmosphere, easy access to advanced technology, and high quality of consumer goods (actually most are made in China). Speaking of the things I don’t like, the first is social connection. People here are not so closely connected as those in China, and I think it reflects the difference between our cultures. The second is the labor cost. I hope my house will stay in shape, as any repair or replacement will cost an arm and a leg. The third thing I am concerned about is the gun control and drug issue. I hope my daughter will grow up safely and healthily. What do you like most and least about China? No matter what happens to China, I will always love it, just as I will always love my parents. There are a lot of things in China that need improvement, but during the last decade, there has been a huge progress. One thing I am most concerned about is the regulations and laws about product quality, especially food safety standards. Opinions on the hot topics What do you think about the HuKou policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? It is a product of a certain period of time. But I believe it will disappear eventually. How about the one child policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? Most American people may not understand it, but I definitely think it is necessary for the development of China in the last 30 years. Considering the limited natural resources, I believe this policy has benefited the world as well. W h a t d o y o u t h i n k a b o u t t h e Ti b e t i s s u e a n d FaLunGong? In a word, Tibet is a part of China, and for their own good, they need to stay in China. Have you felt any impact from the recent global economy downturn? Yes, but not much. We have lost a huge chunk of value in our 401K and stock portfolio, but we won’t retire any time soon. We are going on vacation as planned, and sticking to the way we spend. Since we don’t live upon debt, we are not dragged down. But a financial crisis of this scale will definitely hit the market, more or less, and if it spreads around the world and lasts over 2 years, it may change the way we live. (Interviewed by Wendy Sui, Oct 2008)
Xia Hui 夏慧
Marketing Manager, Age: 35
Location: Shanghai, China
Can you tell me about your job? As a marketing manager, I am responsible for developing marketing channels and promoting sales of our products. When did you start this job? What did you do previously? I started this job in June 2006. My previous job was in marketing as well but in a different industry. What do you like most and least about your job? I like it because it offers me a decent salary and a great benefit package, and it also provides me an opportunity to grow. The company has made a tailored two-year career plan for me, and I can see where I’ll be in two years. But I don’t think we have an effective and efficient management team to fulfill the development of the company.
Are you satisfied with your current status? Are you going to change your job in the near future? Yes, I am satisfied with my current job and life, and don't want to change. What is your plan for the future? Although I have a steady, well-paid job now, I still dream of having my own business and working for myself. If you could change one thing in your life, what would you have changed? (Laugh) I would have got married at an earlier stage. As you know, the older a woman gets, the harder she will find her Mr. Right. Have you ever been to the U.S.A.? How do you like it? No, but I would like to take a short trip if possible. Since U.S.A. is a developed country, I believe their education, technology, health care, and social welfare are more advanced than ours. But I would never consider settling down there, as I may not be able to adjust myself to the completely different culture and living habits. Have you ever been to Beijing? If so, what do you like most and
Opinions on the hot topics What do you think about the HuKou policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? I have never had any problem studying, working, and living in Shanghai even though I don’t have the Shanghai HuKou. I think the HuKou policy is reasonable and necessary for the economic development in China. The government has been working on the policy to make it more feasible. How about the one child policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? I am not the only child in my family, but I think this policy has worked its way in China. With such a huge population but limited natural resource, we have to figure out a way to divide the pie. Do you know how many visitors came to Beijing on the National Day? One hundred million! What would it be if there were no one child policy? W h a t d o y o u t h i n k a b o u t t h e Ti b e t i s s u e a n d FaLunGong? I advocate for freedom of speech. But the bottom line is no speech intended to split our country or destroy social stability should be encouraged. In terms of Tibet or FaLunGong, my friends and I are on the same page – people have the right to express their opinions as long as they don’t manipulate others in name of religion. Have you felt any impact from the recent global economy downturn? No. I have not been affected at all so far. (Photo and interviewed by Lihua Wu, Oct 2008)
Let’s talk about your family. What do your family members do? I have an elder brother, a younger brother, and a younger sister. Along with my parents, my siblings all stay in my hometown. I am the only one who is still single and living in a rental apartment. I love my little homey apartment though, and I enjoy nothing but staying home on the weekends.
least about it? Yes. I love Beijing, because it is ever changing and filled with hope. I like the people, food, travel spots and modern skyscrapers.
Zhang Juan 张娟 Waitress at a Chinese Restaurant Location: Orlando, U.S.A
Can you tell me about your job? I am a waitress at a Chinese buffet restaurant. I work ten hours a day, seven days a week. Since it is a buffet restaurant where customers primarily help themselves, I always work in between the kitchen and the dining area. For example, when I see a food tray becoming empty, I need to ask the chef to cook another load. When I see a customer departs, I need to clean up the table. I do a lot of walking and talking. When did you start this job? What did you do previously? I started back in early 2004. Before coming to the U.S., I worked at a small company in my hometown.
What do you like most and least about your job? Here I am making more money than I used to, so I can save more for my children. But I do feel tired and bored sometimes, and I miss my sons. Let’s talk about your family. What do your family members do? My husband works as a chef at another Chinese restaurant here, and my two sons, one at four and the other at eight, stay with their grandparents in China. Are you satisfied with your current status? Are you going to change your job in the near future? I don’t know. I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I miss my sons a lot, and I wish I could stay together with them and take good care of them. On the other hand, I know I have no better option if I want to make more money. I feel sad sometimes, and I think I will go back to China once I have saved enough money. What is your plan for the future? As I said, I hope I will make more money and go back home. If you could change one thing in your life, what would you have changed? I believe in fate. If there’s one thing I could change, I probably would not come to the U.S., but stay home with my children. Why did you come to the U.S.? What do you like most and least about it? I came here to make more money - the U.S. dollars to support my family. I don’t know if I really like it here. It doesn’t feel like home, and I don’t have many friends. My life here is really boring. It is basically just work and sleep. I live in the basement of the restaurant owner’s house, and I shop once a month when he has the
time to take me to the grocery store. But I don’t need to pay the rent or meals, so I can save almost all the money I make. What do you like most and least about China? I still think China is my home, as my sons, friends, and a lot of my relatives are in China. I will feel so easy and comfortable living there. But the family income gap between the rich and the poor is huge. Opinions on the hot topics What do you think about the HuKou policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? I don’t quite understand the policy, so I don’t know what to say about it. How about the one child policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? I was from countryside, and we were allowed to have more than one child. I think they made the policy for some reason. I have two sons, but I have to say, the more children you have, the heavier the burden is on the parents. W h a t d o y o u t h i n k a b o u t t h e Ti b e t i s s u e a n d FaLunGong? FaLunGong is scary. I know someone who was driven nuts by them. Have you felt any impact from the recent global economy downturn? I heard my boss (the restaurant owner) talking about it, but we still see crowds here. (Interviewed by Wendy Sui, Oct 2008)
Wang Meiling 王美龄 Security Guard, Age: 19 Location: Guangzhou, China
Can you tell me about your job? I am a security guard, and I work from 7am to 8pm everyday with a one-hour lunch break. I don’t have weekend breaks or holidays. My primary job is to open the door for visitors, and help people who are too handful to carry their belongings. When did you start this job? What did you do previously? This is my first job, and I started in August 2007. I came from a countryside where my parents are both peasants. Just as the majority of my peers did, I quit school after I graduated from junior high, and started looking for job opportunities. A friend of my parents introduced me to this job, so I came to Guaungzhou and started working here.
Let’s talk about your family. What do your family members do? My mother passed away several years ago. My elder sister is working in Beijing, and my little brother is still in junior high school, living with my dad, who basically farms. Are you satisfied with your current status? Are you going to change your job in the near future? I can’t say I am really satisfied with my current life, but I think it is okay. Compared with a lot of people in my hometown, I think I am doing fine. But I will start a new job next month, introduced by my sister. What is your plan for the future? (Laugh) I never think about it. If you could change one thing in your life, what would you have changed? My temper. My sister always says I am bad-tempered, and I wish I could be softer. Have you ever been to the U.S.A.? How do you like it? No. I cannot imagine what the U.S. looks like. Maybe just as seen on TV? I don’t think I will go there in my life, and I don’t want to go anywhere so far away from home. Have you ever been to Beijing? If so, what do you like most and least about it? Yes. I really like it, as it is our capital, an interesting and fun city. But I couldn’t put up with the noise.
What do you think about the HuKou policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? I don’t have Guangzhou HuKou, but it doesn’t bother me at all. To be honest, I don’t quite understand the policy, but I haven’t seen any inconvenience brought by my nonGuangzhou HuKou. How about the one child policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? I am not the only child in my family, and I have a sister and a brother. Having more than one child is pretty usual in countryside, and having at least a boy is almost a must, because we need strong labor for farming. W h a t d o y o u t h i n k a b o u t t h e Ti b e t i s s u e a n d FaLunGong? I have no idea of either of them, as I don’t have the time to read any news. Have you felt any impact from the recent global economy downturn? I heard a little about it, but it seems too far away from my daily life. (Photo and interviewed by Lihua Wu, Oct 2008)
What do you like most and least about your job? I don’t think there is anything in particular I like about my job, but the least I like about it is the poor housing condition. I, together with other thirteen girls, live in a messy room in the basement, provided by the company. And three girls have already left the job because they couldn’t stand for the housing condition.
Opinions on the hot topics
Weng Zhaoyu 翁兆宇
Graduate School Student, Age: 28 Location: College Station, U.S.A How is your school life? Are you very busy with studying? I go to school every morning, and come back and speculate on stocks in the afternoon. On the weekends, I always hang out with my friends here, and catch up with my family and friends in China via the phone or internet.
When did you enroll in the current program here? What did you do previously? I started in Fall, 2006. Prior to that, I worked as an architect in Shanghai, China. What do you like most and least about your current student life? As a student, the best thing is that I have plenty of free time; while the worst is that I don’t have much income. Plus, majoring in architecture, rather than computer science, I am unable to have my own business in the near future, because I have to accumulate experience through years of hands-on practice. Let’s talk about your family. What do your family members do? My parents are both still working in China, and I try to go back home to spend as much time as possible with them. I am still single, looking for a girlfriend. Are you satisfied with your current living condition? Are you planning to change your job? No. Never. If one gets satisfied with current status, what can he/she strive for? There is always a better tomorrow I am after. What is your plan for the future? Now I am working hard to find a job in the near future. In the long run, I can picture myself flying higher and further, not only in an architecture world. If you could change one thing in your life, what would you have changed? Do you mean anything, including daydreaming? Well, I wish I had a million dollars at hand. Why did you come to the U.S.? What do you like most and least about it? U.S.A. is the most powerful country and the epicenter of the world’s politics and economy. That is the reason I came here. I like the country’s governing system and the relatively fair social structure, but I don’t like the
extravagancy of American, especially the popular concept of overdraft consumption. What do you like most and least about China? I am never a big fan of the social structure of China. It is the network that I like most and least. When network comes in the right way, it helps us build up beneficial relationships with each other. But when it goes towards nepotism, it always leads to corruption. Opinions on the hot topics What do you think about HuKou policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? The HuKou policy is a product of Confucianism. From generation to generation, the Chinese government has not figured a way out. I don’t think the problem will be solved anytime soon. How do you think about the one child policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? It has caused a serial of social problems. It just shows the Chinese government lacks management skills to manage the modern society. W h a t d o y o u t h i n k a b o u t t h e Ti b e t i s s u e a n d FaLunGong? The Tibet issue is a fight between China and the western countries over resources. As for FaLunGong, I don’t want to make any comment simply because I don’t know much about it. Have you felt any impact from the recent global economy downturn? It poses difficult challenges for me to find a job. It is the result of over consumption, and shows the U.S. is falling down and the credit system is collapsing. (Interviewed by Wendy Sui, Oct 2008)
Li Zi 李子
High School Student, Age: 17 Location: Beijing, China How is your school life? Are you very busy with studying? Generally, I think it’s interesting, and most of our instructors are really good. I work pretty hard but I am not that busy. When do you do after class? Well, first thing first. Homework always tops my priority list. Then I have to attend after-school classes. And I play basketball with my dad afterwards.
Let’s talk about your family. What do your family members do? My mum is a banker and my Dad is a teacher. I am the only child in our family. Are you satisfied with your family living condition? I think it is good. What is your plan for the future? Go to a good university and find a nice job after graduation. If you could change one thing in your life, what would you have changed? I wish our education system could be changed. There are some problems in our current system. For example, we are too exam-focused and some of our classes are really boring. I have a cousin studying in Canada, and he can take all kinds of fun classes such as cooking and fishing. Have you ever been to the U.S.A.? How do you like it? I have not been to the U.S. before, but I love the U.S. and I want to go there. The environment in the U.S. is much better, and actually, I think everything there is better than in China. It is open, free and fair, and even their families
Have you ever been to Beijing? If so, what do you like most and least about it? I think most people in Beijing are well educated. I like it. But I hate there are too many people around and the air quality is not good. Opinions on the hot topics What do you think about HuKou policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? I was born in Beijing and I have Beijing HuKou.I don’t really understand this policy, but I think everyone should be treated the same. At College Entrance Examination, the admission score to the people with Beijing Hukou is lower than the people who don’t have the Beijing Hukou. How unfair it is! How do you think about the one child policy in China? Do you think it is reasonable? I am the only child in my family, and I don’t like the one child policy. If I had a sister or brother, we could exchange our thoughts and feelings. My parents are too fusty sometimes. Is your life affected by the Global Economy Crisis? Of course, I am affected. The merchandise prices are too high. I have to consider for a while when shopping. It never happened before. What do you think about Tibet issue and FaLonggong? Tibet is always a part of China. FaLunGong is superstition. Have you felt any impact from the recent global economy downturn? Of course, the financial crisis has impacted my life, more or less. Things are getting more and more expensive, and shopping is not easy any more. I have to do the math when I load up my shopping chart, and try not to waste on any unnecessary stuff. (Photo and interviewed by Lihua Wu, Oct 2008)
From the above seven interviews, we take a glance at Chinese people pursuing their dream and planning their lives. Through each one of them, we can see a large population standing behind. Some of them endure a tough living condition, and they are more concerned about how to change their current situation but unable to care about the whole society; some of them are still young, studying in schools, and having great hopes for the future. The world looks so fresh to them; some of them have reached a stable state of their lives. They work hard and enjoy every minute; some of them have a successful career and they think more about how to pay back to the society. The more answers we could collect, the more colorful world would be presented. What is your answer?
What do you like most and least about the school? I like my instructors, classmates and the learning atmosphere. But I hate the overwhelming homework and seemingly endless exams. I have at least one quiz per week.
Bertrand Russell on China and the West - History and Future Edited by Monkey King
Bertrand Russell was one of the most widely educated, published, and brilliant figures of the 20th century. He was a founder of modern mathematics and his work helped directly lead to the creation of computers, starting with his work Principia Mathematica. In addition, he was probably also the greatest and most influential philosopher of the 20th century. Russell lived and worked in China for a time, and was deeply impressed by Chinese culture. Though some of his ideas are out of date or reflect some of the misunderstandings of his time, it is fascinating to see what he had to say about the new relationship between China and the West in an essay that seems it could have been written very recently. You might be surprised (if you make it to the end) to see when it was written. Bertrand Russell (1872â€“1970) (Essay Extract)
There is at present in China ... a close contact between our civilization and that which is native to the Celestial Empire [Chinese civilization]. It is still a doubtful question whether this contact will breed a new civilization and replace it by that of America. ... We have quite as much to learn from them as they from us, but there is far less chance of our learning it. If I treat the Chinese as our pupils ... it is only because I fear we are unteachable. ... I cannot think of any instance of two civiliations coming into contact after such a long period of separate development as has marked those of China and [the West]. Western Europe and America have a practically homogenous mental life, which I would trace to three sources: (1) Greek culture; (2) Jewish [and therefore Christian] religion and ethics; (3) modern industrialism, which itself is an outcome of modern science. From the Greeks we derive literature and the arts, philosophy and pure mathematics; also the more urbane portions of our social outlook. From the Jews we derive fantatical belief, which its friends call 'faith'; moral fervour, with the conception of sin; religious intolerance, and some part of our nationalism. From science, as applied in industrialism, we derive power and the sense of power, the belief that we are as gods, and may justly be arbiters of life and death for unscientific races. We derive also the empirical method, by which almost all real knowledges have been acquired. The three elements, I think, account for most of our mentality. None of these three elements has had any appreciable part in the development of China ... China belongs, in the dawn of its history, to the great river empires ... Even in the time of Confucius [Kongzi], the Chinese Empire did not
stretch far either to the South or North of the Yellow River. Laozi and Confucius, who both belong to the 6th century BC [BCE], have already been the characteristics which we should regard as distinctive of the modern Chinese. People who attribute everything to economic causes would be hard put to account for the differences between the Chinese and [other] ancient [civilizations]. For my part, I have no alternative to offer. ... Probably a great deal depends upon the character of dominant individuals who happen to emerge at a formative period ... such as Confucius. The oldest known Chinese sage is Laozi, the founder of Daoism. He was (according to tradition) an older contemporary of Confucius ... He held that ... every thing has a certain way or maner of behaving which is natural to ... it, and that we ought to conform to this way ourselves and encourage others to conform to it. In later time Taoism degenerated into mere magic ... The Daoists ... were entirely ousted from the favour of the educated classes by Confucianism. ... When one compares [Confucius] with the traditional religious teachers of some other ages and races, one must admit that he has great merits ... His system ... is one of pure ethics, without religious dogman; it has not given rise to a powerful priesthood, and it has not led to persecution ... and it is not confined to one class ... There is one, and only one, important foreign element in the traditional civilization of China, and that is Buddhism. We, with the intolerant outlook which we have taken over from the Jews, imagine that if a man adopts one religion, he cannot adopt another. ... But in China this incompatibility does not exist; a man may be both a Buddhist and a Confucian, because nothing in either is incompatible with the other. ... There is a temperamental difference between Buddhism and Confucianism, which
23 will cause any individual to lay stress on one or the other even if he accepts both. Buddhism is a religion ... [and] has mystic doctrines and a way of salvation and a future life. It has a message to the world intended to cure the despair which regards as natural to those who have no religious path. It assumes an instinctive pessimism only to be cured by some gospels. Confucianism has nothing of all this. ... [Confucian] ethical instruction is not based on any metaphysical or religious dogma ... The result of the co-existence of these ...has been that the more religious and contemplative natures tuned to Buddhism, while the active administrative type was content with Confucianism, which has always been the official teaching, in which candidates for the civil service were examined. The result is that for many ages the Government of China has been in the hands of literary skeptics, whose administration has been lacking in those qualities of energy and destructiveness which Western nations demand of their rules. The result has been that the
learning, not simply in order to acquire national strength and be able to resist Western aggression, but because a very large number of people consider learning as a good thing in itself. It is traditional in China to place a high value on knowledge, but in the old days the knowledge sought was only of the classical [books]. Nowadays it is generally realized that Western knowledge is more useful. Many students go every year to universities in Europe, still more to America ... These men, when they return to China ... are rapidly modernizing the Chinese outlook, especially in the educated classes. ... The influx of Western knowledge provides just the stimulus that is needed. Chinese students are able and extraordinarily keen. Higher education suffers from lack of funds and absence of libraries, but does not suffer from any lack of the finest human material. Although Chinese civilization has [up until recently] been deficient in science, it never contained anything hostile to science, and therefore the spread of scientific knowledge encounters no such obstacles as the Church put in its way
Confucius, Founder of Confucianism
Laozi, Founder of Taoism
population has been happy except where civial war brought misery; that subject nations have been allowed autonomy; and that foreign nations have had no need to fear China, in spite of its immense population and resources. Comparing the civilization of China with that of [the West], one finds in China most of what was to be found in Greece, but nothing of the other two elements of our civilization, namely Judaism and science. China is practically destitute of religion ... There is a very definite ethical code, but it is no fierce or persecuting, and does not contain the notion of 'sin'. What will be the outcome of the contact of this ancient civilization with the West? I am not thinking of political or economic outcome, but of the effect on the Chinese mental outlook. It is difficult to dissociate the two questions altogether, because of course the cultural contact with the West must be affected by the nature of political and economic contact. Nevertheless I wish to consider the cultural question as far as I can in isolation. There is in China a great eagerness to acquire Western
Zhuangzi, co-founder of Taoism
in Europe. I have no doubt that if the Chinese could get a stable government and sufficient funds, they would, within the next 30 years, begin to produce remarkable work in science. It is quite likely that they might [outperform] us ... But [I] have been comparing Western practice with Chinese theory; if [I] had compared Western theory with Chinese practice, the balance would have come out quite differently. Possession ... is certainly dear to the heart of the average [Chinese]. ... They are tenacious of money ... certainly more than the English or the Americans. ... Nevertheless, as regards the other two evils, self-assertion and domination, I notice a definite superiority to ourselves in Chinese practice. There is much less desire than among [Westerners] to tyrannize over other people. The weakness of China internationally [has been] quite as much due to this virtue as to the vices of corruption. If any nation in the world could ever be 'too proud to fight', that nation would be China. The natural Chinese attitude is the tolerance and friendliness, showing courtesy and expecting it in return.
24 If the Chinese chose, they could be the most powerful nation in the world. But they only desire freedom, not domination. It is not improbably that other nations may compel them to fight for their freedom, and if so, they may loss their virtues and acquire a taste for the empire. But at present, though they have been an [empire] for 2,000 years, their love of empire is extraodinarily light. It is interesting to contrast what the Chinese have sought in the West with what the West has sought in China. The Chinese in the West seek knowledge, in the hope - which I fear is usually vain - that knowledge may prove a gateway to wisdom. [Westerners] have gone to China ... to fight, to make money, and to convert the Chinese to our religion. ... The soldier, the merchant, and the missionary are alike concerned to stamp our civilization upon the world. The Chinese have no wish to convert us to Confucianism. I think the tolerance [shown by] the Chinese is in excess of anything [Westerners]
can imagine from their experience at home. We imagine ourselves tolerant, because we are more so than our ancestors. But we still practice political and social persecution, and what is more we are firmly persuaded that our civilization and our way of life are immeasurably better than any other, so that when we come across a nation like the Chinese, we are convinced that the kindest thing we can do is do to them is to make them like [us]. I believe this to be a profound mistake. ... The [Chinese] nation is built upon a more human and civilized outlook than our own. Restlessness and [love of conflict] not only cause obvious evils, but fill our lives with discontent, incapacitate us for the enjoyment of beauty, and make us almost incapable of contemplative virtues. With this respect we have grown rapidly worse over the last 100 years. ... But I think contact between East and West is likely to be fruitful for both parties. When I went to China, I went to teach. However, when I stayed there,
I found what I could teach Chinese was less than what I could learn from them.. Among Europeans who have lived a long time in China, I found this attitude is not uncommon; but among those whose stays are short, or who go only for making money, it is sadly rare. ... Those who value wisdom ... or even the simple enjoyment of life, will find more of these things in China than in the distracted and turbulent West ... I wish that China, in return for our scientific knowledge, may give us something of her large tolerance and contemplative peace of mind. Lord Bertrand Russell, founder of formal logic & author of History of Western Philosophy, 1922.
("I don't understand why a person with this kind of funky looking can become a model. Is it because western people want to humiliate Chinese and name the ugliest girl as Chinese beauty?" by Sun Xiao)
("Completely unscientific research on my part has found that virtially all 1.3 billion Chinese think Lucy Liu is a complete malformed toad." by Justin Mitchell)
Lv Yan, Super Model
Lucy Liu, Hollywood Movie Star
Enigmas of Chinese Edited by Qiu Yin
Who are the most popular Chinese beauties? Some names pop up: Lucy Liu, the sexy angel? Zhang Ziyi, the sweet geisha? Lu Yan, the super model? Or more established figures such as Gong Li? To western people, they represent eastern culture. But if you ask Chinese, most of them will say no or even think they are ugly. How about the Hollywood-like, characterized by a chiseled chin and a tall, slim figure that can be seen in American movies? Are they beauties to Chinese people? The answer will be No again. The standards of beauty vary from culture to culture. Understanding the Chinese standards for Chinese beauty is a part of culture study. Unlike the multi-culture and mixed races in America, Chinese has obvious common characters in looking, yellow skin and black hair and eyes. Also,
being educated by the same history and traditional culture, Chinese people have a more strict and uniformed standard for beauty, compared to the tolerant beauty standards in the U.S. According to an online survey by sina.com, the consensus of beauty includes 20 items. It says that a Chinese beauty must have an oval face, unobvious cheekbone, long and thick eyelashes, willow leaf-shaped eyebrows, almond eyes, long straight black hair, slender legs and light skin, height from 165 to 170 cm. Chinese standard also emphasizes inner beauty. Most Chinese nowadays still do not like Western assertiveness and activeness. A traditional beauty should be tender, obedient, quiet and timid. There is a recent survey by sohu. com where millions of Chinese netizens participated and elected their ten most beautiful Chinese women.
beauty "She is a pretty girl even by the Chinese standard. But she is not a beauty because of her personalities. She is tough, direct and material. An inner beauty shouldnâ€™t be like that." by Wen Zhang Ziyi, a well-known Chinese actress
No.4 Vivian Chow China's
No.3 Angie Chiu
No.5 Cecilia Cheung 5.82% selected by millions of Chinese netizens
No.2 Chen Hong 11.85%
No.6 Cristal Liu 5.55%
Vicky Zhao 25.73%
No.7 Maggie Cheung 5.19%
No.8 Michele Lee 3.55%
No.9 Li Yuchun 3.53%
No.10 Brigitt Lin 2.06%
THE TALK SELECTED EXHIBITIONS & AWARDS: · · · · · · · · · · ·
2004: CCGF Digital Art Show 2004: China, Japan, Korea Joint Digital Art Show 2005: Qi Lu International Cartoon Art Show 2005: The work Xixili’s Beautiful Legend entered into CGTALK 2006: Multimedia Art Show, Brussels, Belgium 2006: International Art Exposition, Frankfurt, German 2006: The work Oneday entered Animation Festival at Lyons, France. 2006: Created serial posters for Yun Nan Influencing New Movies Series 2007: Awardeded as 2008 Most Promising Chinese Artist and attended International Oil Painting Circuit Exhibition 2007: Idol is Idol solo exhibition in 798 Art District 2008: Day Dream solo exhibition in Xi Sheng Art Museum
ACRYLIC PAINTING ON WOOD 50mm X 50mm 2008
Yang Ge was born in Jilin, China in 1972. His inclination for art at a very young age made him win a lot of awards in the art world when he was only a kid. He expanded his knowledge and sharpened his skill of oil painting at Jilin Art University where he obtained his bachelor degree. After he graduated from college, Yang Ge went to Beijing and became a free artist. His talent was recognized at the national exhibition of colleges of art. He had been refining his style during the period of living in the artist village in Beijing. In 2001, he was awarded Best Artist by China Vision Association for his animation work “Imagination”. By 2006, Yang Ge’s works had been featured in numerous galleries throughout the world including Korea, Japan, Germany and France. Yang Ge has an uncanny ability to establish an inner dialogue with each individual observing his artwork. His intuitive expressionism awakens emotions within the beholder of the nurturing love, pain, freedom, immortality and hope that live within us. Through his work, Yang Ge allows the viewers to get into his own realm, touch his dream and soul and leave them with a deep sense of intimacy between the painter and themselves.
THE GAME OF HUMAN
Yang Ge (Robin)
OIL PAINTING ON WOOD 40mm X 60mm 2007
BIRDS AND ROUSING SPRING
ACRYLIC PAINTING ON WOOD 50mm X 60mm 2008
ACRYLIC PAINTING ON WOOD 50mm X 50mm 2007
THE DREAM OF BUTTERFLY
ACRYLIC PAINTING ON WOOD 40mm X 40mm 2007
OIL PAINTING ON CANVAS 80mm X 80mm 2007
ACRYLIC PAINTING ON WOOD 40mm X 50mm 2007
The Day Dream Series presents the infinitely fantastic world in my mind, from easel to computer, from traditional facture to the wonderful digital space, from the secret of nature to the uproariousness of city, and a child's longing for the nature when he is from the forest to the lifeless city. Attended by the original nostalgia, I will describe these hints and signals which come from the life, beauty, sanctitude, villainy, and suffering. Thank you God! For your favor, I'll show it and never give up. I hope it is ideal, not an oppressive dream.
A man is treated like a dog
A big family
A story of birds
A dog is treated like a human idol
YANG GE'S ART SERIES: ANIMAL
A MAGIC TRAVEL CAT POOL
BLACK LOBSTER IN MEETING ROOM
EIDOLON GREEN GARDEN
YANG GE'S ART SERIES
House Interior Modern Chinese Style Chinese Red
By GUI TAO
Hotel Interior Modern Chinese Style
Taste of South China
Winter is around the corner, and how will you stay warm throughout the cold season? A cup of hot tea will warm you up, refresh your mind, and drive lifeâ€™s troubles away. So boil some water, bring out your teapot, and come roam the world of teas. History of Tea Tea was first discovered and used as a relish and medicine around 2700 B.C. in China. Human cultivation of teaplants started over two thousand years ago in the western mountains in China. Along with silk and porcelain, tea was exported to other countries, from Japan to Europe and America, and has become one of the most popular beverages around the world. Categories of Tea Although China is the home to tea, more than forty countries plant a variety of tea. Here we will talk about five categories of Chinese tea. 1) Green tea: Green tea is made without fermentation and hence keeps the original color of the tea leaves. The best green teas include Longjing (dragon well) tea from Zhejiang Province, Maofeng from the Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province and Biluochun from Jiangsu Province. 2) Black tea: Black tea (generally also referred as red tea) is fermented before baking. The well-known Chinese black teas are produced in Anhui , Yunnan, Jiangsu, Sichuan and Hunan. 3) Wulong (Oolong) tea: Wulong tea is partially fermented, in between green tea and black tea. It is primarily produced on China's southeast coast, such as Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan. 4) Compressed tea: Compressed tea is compressed and made into certain shapes (e.g., bricks, cakes, and bowls), mainly for easy transportation and storage. It is primarily produced in Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan, and supplied to remote counties in China. 5) Scented tea: Scented tea is made by mixing fragrant flowers with the tea leaves during processing. The best known scented tea may be jasmine tea. With jasmine flowers being added to the tea., it has both original flavor of tea and the floral fragrance. Tea Production It takes at least five years for a young tea plant to grow mature so that its leaves can be used to make teas, and tea plants older than thirty years are too old to produce high-quality teas. Farmers will then cut off the old trunks to allow new stems to grow out, and start a new lifecycle. A tea plant may grow and reproduce for as long as a hundred years this way. Tea gardens are always eco-friendly, as soybean cakes and other organic manure - rather than chemical fertilizers, are generally used for fertilization, and pesticides are avoided in pest control. Depending on local weather condition, tea picking season varies from area to area, but generally it starts from end of March and end in October. In some area, tea picked from different seasons are even assorted into spring tea, summer tea,
37 and autumn tea. Tea picking is not an easy job, and a skilled tea picker can only get 600 grams (a little over a pound) of green tea leaves in a day. The newly-picked tea leaves will then be parched into tea cauldrons. Although this process has largely been automated, some kind of tea – such as top-grade green tea (i.e., Longjing), still requires manual drying. Due to the high temperature, tea leaves will be parched into tiny pieces. Four pounds of fresh leaves can produce only one pound of parched tea. The best Longjing (dragon well) tea is prepared several days before Qingming (the 5th of April in Chinese Lunar year) when new twigs just start to grow. It takes about 60,000 pieces of leaves to make one kilogram (2.2 lbs) of this type of tea. No wonder the best Longjing was only supplied to the imperial household in the old times.
Benefits of Tea-drinking Tea is among the most popular drinks around the world, and it is also regarded as one of the healthiest drinks in people’s daily life. Tea contains a number of chemicals, including tannic acid (20-30%), known for its anti-inflammatory and germicidal properties, and alkaloid (5%, mainly caffeine), a stimulant for the nerve center and the process of metabolism. Rich in protein, vitamins, and anti-oxidants while containing low calories and low-carb, tea can boost the metabolism, fight against cancer, stimulate brainpower, support the immune system, promote digestion, improve skin condition, and relax the body and mind. Tea may also help discharge nicotine and alcohol out of body. In summer time, drinking tea can help people cool down and refresh. While in winter, a cup of hot tea can stimulate blood circulation and keep warm. Tea is a part of daily life for a lot of Chinese people. Although drinking tea can be beneficial, it does not mean the more the better. Too much tannic acid may irritate the membrane of the stomach and cause indigestion or constipation. Drinking strong tea right before sleeping may lead to insomnia. Constant drinking of over-strong tea may affect heart and blood pressure, and darken the color of teeth. So just as you drink any other beverage, don’t take it excessively.
Tea-producing Areas in China Some of China's tea-producing areas are also the country’s best sightseeing destinations. In late March and early April, you may visit East China's green tea-producing regions, like Hangzhou's West Lake, famous for longjing (dragon well) tea, and Anji for Anji Baicha, an intensely refreshing green tea. Yixing produces both green tea and black tea, as well as famous clay teapots. Suzhou's Taihu Lake area has the famous biluochun green tea. August is the season for Jasmine tea, as jasmine flowers bloom. The most famous place to visit is Guangxi's Hengxian county, which is a big jasmine-producing region. Autumn is the best time of year for wolong, and you may go visit East Coast of China, like Fujian, Guangdong, and Taiwan. Tea-producing areas in China are always embraced by beautiful mountains and waters, and have great cultures and histories. While you are touring these beautiful places of China, don’t forget to take a break, sip the great teas, and enjoy the local people's lives and cultures.
Teahouses & Tea Restaurants Teahouses in China are as popular as coffee shops in the U.S. Nowadays, a lot of teahouses serve as cultural centers by presenting tea-cooking performance, Chinese operas, and providing traditional snacks to their customers. Moreover, there are some tea restaurants in China, where everything served is related to tea, such as green tea cake and jasmine salad. When you travel to Shanghai, you may try some healthy yet tasty tea dishes at Qiuping Tea Food Restaurant. Qiuping is the first restaurant that provides tea-made dishes, from appetizers to main entries to desserts. Every single dish is given a beautiful name, extracted from ancient Chinese poems. Art of tea is also available upon request.
Address: 500 Xiangyang South Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai (上海市徐汇区襄阳南路500号) Website: www.chinese-teafood.com Phone number: 86-21-62125758 or 54665758 Business hour: 10am-10pm Average cost: RMB ￥200/person Recommended dishes: Taichi Soup(太极羹), Xihu Lake Salad(西湖十景), Longjing (Dragon Well) Shrimp(龙井虾仁), Steamed Dumplings(茶农春运) (Sources: http://www.dianping.com/shop/502990) If you visit Beijing, you should check out the Laoshe Teahouse (named after a well-known Chinese writer and artist), where you will not only taste great tea but also enjoy traditional Chinese art performance and fancy foyer display.
Chinese tea does not only serve as a regular beverage, but also carries histories and stories from generation to generation. Whenever you get a chance, have a cup of tea, taste the tea culture and enjoy the relaxation. Address: 3rd Floor, Building # 3, Zhengyang Market, Qianmen West Ave., Xuanwu District, Beijing(北京市宣武区前 门西大街正阳市场三号楼三层) Website: http://www.laosheteahouse.com Phone number: 86-10-6304 6334 Business hour: 10am-1am (show time 7:30pm) Average cost: RMB￥200/personCustomer reviews:Jean: “I assure you it's a good place to explore traditional Chinese culture. It's so cool, and it's the best teahouse i've ever seen. Traditional Beijing opera, Chinese cross-talk, excellent and beautiful tea, not mention its attentive service. All in here are perfect. The lowest tea only charge for 10rmb, it's an enjoyable experience to drink Chinese tea while watching wonderful performance.”
Bubble Tea Tea was born long time ago, and there are tons of tea derivatives around the world today. Even though researchers have been debating on the counter-effects of adding sugar, milk, and something else to tea, people still love sweetened tea, lemon tea, milk tea, and bubble tea. Here, we will talk about bubble tea. Bubble tea, also known as boba tea or pearl milk tea, is a contemporary drink originated in Taiwan but it is getting popular in the young trendy crowds all over the world. It is a creamy sweet tea mixed with milk, tapioca balls (“boba”, “pearls” or “bubbles”) and sometimes, fruit juices. It comes in a wide variety of flavors and colors. Challenge your palate with chocolate, lichee, mango or almond! You may also go with the more traditional green or black tea flavors. Bubble tea can be served both hot and iced, always in a transparent plastic cup with a laminating lid, and a big straw. It’s part of drink and part of snack, and all fun! I have tried different flavored bubble teas in different cities in the U.S., and my personal favorite is taro milk black tea, iced. Here I’d like to recommend some bubble teashops in some big cities , and share with you an easy recipe to make your own bubble tea at home. Ten Ren Tea & Ginseng Co 13518 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY 11354 Boba Time 701 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005 My Place for Tea 3210 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 Star Snow Ice 9188 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX 77036 Gossip Espresso & Tea 651 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104
by Hai Nguyen
Ingredients (2 to 3 servings) – you can get them at your local Asian market: 2 green tea bags 3/4 cup to 1 cup large black tapioca pearls 8 cups of water sugar syrup or maple syrup 1 cup fresh fruit (strawberry) OR bubble tea powder (taro) 1/2 cup of milk or 1 tablespoon cream (optional) ice cubes bubble tea straw (large straw) Steps: 1.Fill up boiler with water and set it to boil. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with 8 cups of water, set on high heat, cover and wait for water to boil. The water in the boiler should be boiling by now, add 2 cups of boiling water to the teabags in a large glass or measuring cup and let it sit for 10 min. While the tea is soaking, move on to Step 2. 2.Once the water boils, add 1 cup of tapioca pearls to the pot. To prevent them from sticking together, stir constantly for 5 min. Reduce to medium heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 15 min. During this time, throw out the teabags in the measuring cup
and place the tea in the fridge. After the tapioca pearls are done simmering, uncover the lid, turn the heat off and let them sit in the cooking water for another 20 min. Transfer them to a strainer and wash them with cold water briefly. 3.Per 1 serving, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cooked tapioca pearls to a glass. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar syrup to the glass. Add 3/4 cup of the tea from the fridge to the glass and stir until syrup dissolves. Blend about 1 cup of fresh fruit. Add it to the glass and mix. Add cream or milk. 4.(Optional) Serve with ice.
Bubble Tea Recipe
The Spirit of Tea...
Beijing Laoshe Teahouse is named after
the famous stage drama The Teahouse , a masterpiece of the renowned artist and playwright,Laoshe . Since its opening, Laoshe Teahouse has become a special showcase of Chinese theatre and tea culture, as well as Chinese food and tea. Visited by millions visitors every year including leaders from over 70 countries, Laoshe Teahouse is welcoming everyone to Beijing. If you have the time to visit only one teahouse in China, Laoshe Teahouse is the one to go, because you will not only sip fresh brewed teas, but also enjoy traditional culture. If you need a place for a conference, a wedding, a birthday party, or a family gettogether, Laoshe Teahouse has everything for you. Please visit http://www.laosheteahouse.com for further information.
Boiled Peanuts and a Movie By KianLam Kho Editted by Na Liu To someone growing up in Asia in the 1960’s, “boiled peanuts and a movie” is what “popcorn and a movie” is to the American moviegoers. When I was a child, I would always encounter boiled peanuts peddlers pushing large steaming kettles, mounted on tricycles, bursting with peanuts selling their fare. My friends and I would purchase packages of boiled peanuts in newspaper cones and bring them into the theatre. We would crack the peanuts noiselessly, as the moist soft shells split easily, and discard them on the floor. At the end of a the show the floor would be full of peanut shells and I used to enjoy stomping on the shells making crunching noise as we walked out. But this reminiscing also brought out my feeling of disgust for how filthy that
Boiled Peanuts (五香花生) Recipe o o o o o o o
Preparation time: 10 minutes Slow cooking time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 2 lb. green peanuts 3 cups water 2 tablespoons salt 4 whole star anise (八角) 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn (花椒)
Steps: o Put all the ingredients in a large pot and simmer covered over low heat. There should be enough water to completely cover all the peanuts. If not, add a little extra water. o Turn the heat off after 30 minutes and let the peanuts marinate in the liquid overnight. unrefrigerated. o The next day drain off the liquid completely and store the peanuts in the refrigerator. You can serve the peanuts cold or hot. o To reheat the peanuts put them in a steamer over boiling water for about 10 minutes. KianLam Kho is the owner of Red Cook Private Kitchen in New York, serving Chinese home-made dishes. He writes food blogs to share his cooking adventures, and his website is http://www.redcook.net.
habit was. I’m glad that this practice doesn’t exist anymore. Boiled peanuts are still one of my favorite snacks. But I now enjoy them in a more adult manner. I like them as an accompaniment for a cup of hot tea or warm Chinese rice wine. Unlike roasted peanuts the mild non-nutty flavor of boiled peanuts does not compete with the taste of wine or tea. Drinking tea or wine with small dishes of nuts and biscuits is a regular leisure pursuit in China. Boiled peanuts are almost always a part of this ritual. A common Chinese way of boiling peanuts is to add star anise and Sichuan peppercorn. This technique is often known as Five Spice Boiled Peanuts (五香花生) in spite of the fact that only two spices are added. Green unshelled peanuts or dried uncooked peanut kernels can be used. I like to use green peanuts in autumn when they are freshly harvested and are abundant in Chinatown markets. Occasionally I still enjoy boiled peanuts with a movie. But now I sit in the comfort of my home and watch the movie on a DVD player. I also use an extra bowl to collect the shells.
Blue Sky Pure Earth - A Photo Travel Diary from Tibet
Lhasa Potala Palace
by Wu Di
The idea of visiting Tibet came cross my mind during the Olympic torch relay this spring. At that time, Tibet is the focus of the world, and there were so many different voices about Tibet. For me, I followed the old saying "Seeing is believable" and booked an eight-day trip to Tibet. The trip included some of the most famous places in Tibet: Potala Place (布达拉宫) and Jokhang Temple (大昭寺) in Lhasa, Namtso Lake(那木措), Linzhi (林芝), Yamdrok Lake (羊卓雍措) and Shigatse (日喀则). Because my vacation days are limited, I took round-trip flights. I would recommend taking train to Lhasa and come back by flight. I was told there are some splendid sceneries that's worth seeing along the train route. Right after I arrived at Tibet, my first impression of Tibet is the blue sky and clear water. In comparison to many other places in China, Tibet is still in a primary state without any pollution. The first day I mainly rested at the hotel to adjust for the high altitude. The city of Lhasa has an elevation of 3,650 meters (12,000 feet). The next morning we started off to the Jokhang Temple. At the temple, I was deeply impressed by the Tibetan worshipers for their religious devotion. Many Tibetan pilgrims travel thousands of miles to visit the Jokhang Temple. Some of them bow their way from homes to Lhasa. Many pilgrims pray in front of the temple for months after their arrival at Lhasa. Unfortunately, many worshipers were shy of cameras and some even yelled at me for taking pictures of them.
Namtso Lakeâ€”The highest lake in the world
In the afternoon, we visited the famous Potala Place, which is symbolically equivalent to the "Forbidden City" of Beijing. There were 1000 rooms in Potala Place and the majority of the rooms we visited were quite small and had plenty of stairs. There were many Buddhism-style towers inside the Potala Place and the bodies of each generation Dalai Lama were "buried" inside of these towers. The outside of these towers were decorated with tons of gold and precious stones. Talking about the burial, there are 5 ways to bury the dead in Tibet. The "tower burial" is for high ranking officials and monks. The other 4 ways of burials are celestial burial (An unique style of burial where birds are attracted to eat the bones and flesh of a dead person), river and lake burial (I was told that's why Tibetans don't eat fish, but i cannot confirm whether that's true), cremation, and underground burial. Overall, I am not very impressed by either the Jokhang Temple or the Potala Place. Maybe I have seen too many temples or because I don't quite like the dark and stale environment inside of those buildings. The second day was much more interesting as we headed to the Namtso Lake, which is located in the north of Lhasa. Namtso Lake is the highest lake in the world (4,700 meters or 15,400 feet above sea level) and also one of the three divine lakes in Tibet. Right after our bus arrived at Namtso, I was immediately stunned by its beauty - the sparkling water, the snow mountains, the clouds and the blue sky - all that made me feel I was in a dream land. Because of the high attitude and thin air, I can feel much faster heartbeat and mild headache. But that did not distract me from taking photos of this magnificent place. At the Namtso lake, you can pay local Tibetans to ride on yaks and have photos taken with them. Sorry... no swimming or fishing is allowed because the lake is a sacred lake and the water is icy cold :) For the remaining days, our tour focused on the southern part of the Tibet where the city of Linzhi and Shigatse are located. Linzhi
new condos and single family houses in Linzhi and I heard that nowadays there were direct flights from Chongqin (Capital of Sichuan province) to Linzhi. I guess many people buy vacation homes there for weekend or holiday getaways.
is called the "Little Switzerland" of China and the road from Lhasa to Linzhi is really a scenery route, much more beautiful than highway No. 1 along the California coast in my opinion. I haven't been to Switzerland so I cannot compare Linzhi with Switzerland. Because of the relatively low attitude and dense forest coverage in Linzhi, tourists usually feel much more comfortable there. I saw a lot of
The Gesang flower 格桑花
TaShiLhunPo Monastery 扎什伦布寺
Yamdrok Lake 羊卓雍措
Basum Lake 巴松措
A Tibetan girl
One of my favorite places in southern Tibet is the TaShiLhunPo Monastery(扎什伦 布寺), which is close to the city of Shigatse. At the TaShiLhunPo Monastery, you can watch and learn the everyday life of Tibetan lamas and interact with them. Lamas there were very friendly. One 72-year old lama actually invited me to sit down by his side and had a conversion with me. He could not speak Mandarin so we had to grab a young lama as translator. He asked me where I was from and showed great interest in my camera gears, and even holes on my Levi jeans. We had a great conversation and that was a lot of fun. At certain time of a day at the monastery, lamas will gather and pray inside of a hall and you can go inside and see how they pray. Lamas will smile at you when you walk close to them and they like to have their photos taken. Eight days passed quickly and overall I had a wonderful time in Tibet. I can see people in Tibet are having a peaceful life and they can freely practice their religions. I cannot say their living condition is good but it is definitely improving. When the plane landed at Beijing, I started to miss the blue sky of Tibet...
Mi Dui ice mountain
Mi Dui ice mountain
Christmas Trip to Hong Kong on a Budget
Hong Kong city view (Photo by Vicma)
Edited by He Yun The financial crisis could cut down on travel and leisure spending, but according to Francesco Frangialli, secretarygeneral of the U.N. World Tourism Organization (WTO), people across the globe are still traveling. Where are you going to spend this holiday? How about a trip to Hong Kong? Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, has always been one of the most popular destinations for Christmas trips. Embodying both Eastern and Western cultures, Hong Kong offers everything that holiday travelers are looking for a strong holiday atmosphere, nice weather, convenient transport, and great shopping environment. Winter is the best season in the monsoon climate of Hong Kong. There is plenty of sunshine during the day, and the evenings can be a little chilly. But a coat or jacket will do just fine. Here are some top attractions in Hong Kong: ·Victoria Peak: At the highest mountain on Hong Kong islands, the viewing platform Sky Terrace provides you with a 360-degree view of Hong Kong and its surrounds. ·Lantau Island: As Hong Kong’s largest Island, Lautau Island is well known for its beautiful landscape and the Big
Buddha, the largest seated outdoor statue in the world. · Ts i m S h a S h u i P ro m e n a d e : T h e w a t e r f r o n t promenade is home to the Avenue of the Stars. At 8pm every day you can watch “A Symphony Of Lights”, performed by over 44 buildings that come alive with lights and laser accompanied by music. ·Hong Kong Ocean Park: As the biggest amusement park in Southeast Asia, the Ocean Park attracts millions of adults and children every year. You can explore the mysteries of the ocean, see the giant panda, take the Trip of Extreme Speed and the Ship Swinging to the Sky, and more and more. It’s all fun! ·Disneyland: Just like the every Disneyland Park around the world, it is a dreamland for children and adults alike. If you visit the Hong Kong Disneyland during Christmas, you will catch the parade during the day and fireworks at night. ·Star Ferry Pier: You may take a ferry ride at night to the other side of the harbor, and enjoy the Christmas lights that adorn the tall buildings on the waterfront. Although there are a lot of options if you choose to travel to Hong Kong, you’d better start off early to get a good deal for your Christmas trip. Here are some tips that may help you plan your trip on a budget.
47 1.Book the air ticket and hotel: ·Take a package offer from a traveling agency. Sometimes, traveling agencies may have special promotion or package offer for the hot spot in the holiday season. In addition to contacting the agencies in the U.S., try the local agencies in Hong Kong, or mainland China. Nowadays, a lot of them offer instantly online chat services, and you can receive a quote of a tailored trip within minutes, from airfare, hotel, to meals. Letting a traveling agency arrange the trip for you will save you a lot of time and effort, but it may not be that flexible, as you may have to follow their itinerary. ·Book the flight and hotel yourself. Do some research on the website of different airlines and discount airfare and hotel providers, and compare the price. Again, don’t forget to check out the Hong Kong-based and Chinese airlines and travel agencies. If you have a flexible schedule, try to avoid flying on weekends.
3.Eat: Hong Kong is well known for a wide variety of great food and drinks, in both Eastern and Western styles. Try some local diners, which are inexpensive and better representative of the authentic local food. Try out the
4.Shopping: Hong Kong is regarded as shoppers’ paradise, and it
Hong Kong shopping area
(Photo by Paulvictor)
is not hard to find good deals, not to mention all kinds of promotion and sales events in the holiday season. Therefore, you’d better have a shopping list in mind before you step in any shop or mall. There are so many “good buys” from electronic goods to cosmetics, but you have to remember what you really need. Otherwise, you will not only regret for impulsive shopping, but also waste room in your luggage bag. You can find almost all luxury brands at Pacific Place and the IFC mall, located in the heart of the city. If you have enough time and want to find inexpensive souvenirs, try the markets where locals always go to, such as the Sham Shui Po flea market. 5.Free things to do: Museums are open to the public for free on We d n e s d a y s . Kowloon Park puts on a Kung Fu show at 2:30pm every Sunday. You can also visit the Aviary and Observatory. In Soho, don’t forget to try the world’s longest covered escalator, which can take you from central to the midlevels without stop.
Hong Kong night (Photo by Vicma)
2.Transport: Hong Kong is small, and with the advanced public transport system, it is easy to get around. Make sure to get an Octopus Card, an electronic fare card that is accepted by almost all public transport, and at many restaurants and stores. It's easy and convenient to use, saves time and eliminates need for coins. Add money to it when you need to, and any unspent value in On-Loan Octopus is refundable along with the HK$50 deposit (minus HK$7 handling fee for cards returned within three months). Check out this website for more information about the Octopus for Tourists: http://www.octopuscards.com/consumer/help/ tourists/en/index.jsp
local noodles, dim sum and seafood. If you are on a tight schedule, you can always find fast food chains, such as Cafe de Coral, Fairwood, and of course, McDonald’s.
Modern Sky Festival – Rock n’ Roll By Huibo
he annual outdoor-rock music festival, Modern
Sky Festival, was held in Beijing from September 30 to October 2. The festival not only appealled to the young with domestic music , but also promoted green, eco-friendly lifestyles. Mainland rock stars Zhang Chu and He Yong, along with other singers and brands, participated in this year’s festival. To learn more about the events and watch video clippings, please visit http://recordingbeijing.com.
1. Art crafts at the festival. 2. The bass player of Super VC - the best brit-pop band in China. 3. Supermarket - The first electro band in China. 4. Zhang Chu, the well-known godfather of Chinese Rock n’ Roll.
5 5. Music fans. 6. A performing artist made a “cow” from a water jar. Apparently it’s about the tainted milk incident. 7. He Yong, and his father, He Yusheng, a legendary Sanhsian (a kind of traditional instrument with 3 strings) player. 8. Lead singer of one of the most popular Heavy Metal bands, Suffocated.
The Essentials Book Review: The Last Days of Old Beijing, by Michael Mayer Long-term Beijing resident and journalist Michael Meyer has experienced Chinese traditional life as an insider, living and working in one of Beijing’s most well known Hutong neighborhoods. In his book, The Last Days of Old Beijing, Meyer documents the colorful characters and unique situations he encounters. (Source: the beijinger.com) Concert: Kanye West
DVD: Red Cliff Costing $80 million in producing, Red Cliff is the first film to re-create the Battle of Red Cliff (Chibi) - the most famous military feat in Chinese history, dating back to 208 A.D., the final days of the Han Dynasty. Prime Minister Cao Cao convinced Emperor Han to declare wars on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. The kingdoms of Xu and East Wu, left with no option, formed an unlikely alliance to dispel Cao Cao. The battle showed how a weaker force beat a larger one through strategies and wits. Also, this battle changed Chinese history by marking the beginning of the three warring states. DVD is now available at Amazon and Netflix.
TV Drama: Ugly Wudi Ugly Wudi, a Chinese adaptation of the American comedy drama “Ugly Betty” made debut right before the National Day holiday in China. Despite previous controversy over this “not ugly enough” Chinese Betty, this TV drama enjoyed high ratings. Hunan Television, which produced this adaption, invited the cast to Changsha, capital city of Hunan Province, for a fan appreciation party to warm up climate for the drama’s second season. (Source: CRIENGLISH. com) Art Exhibition: The Love of Art - Collecting Contemporary Art in China Chinese contemporary art collection is still a rather new field with only few recognizable local collectors and institutions. However, the embryonic form of collecting has been gradually taking shape. In the exhibition of The love of Art - Collecting Contemporary Art in China, Today Art Museum is inviting a number of private art collectors and organizations to provide their loved collections. As the title suggests, the exhibition will not only show the status quo of domestic contemporary art collecting, but more importantly, demonstrate that the “the love of art “ shall be the true impetus of collecting. The exhibition thereby is a gesture that wishes to help foster the maturity of a healthy collecting system. (Source: Today Art Museum) Duration: 19th October — 10th November Venue: Today Art Museum (32 of Baiziwan Rd, Chaoyang district , Beijing) If you are visiting Beijing on any of the following days - Date: Oct. 1, Oct. 27, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, you are welcome to visit the museum for free.
China West and Gehua-Live Nation are bringing Kanye West to China. Kanye will be storming Beijing and Shanghai, on November 1st and 3rd, respectively. The hip-hop star has rocked the stage during his Glow in the Dark tour in the U.S. by turning his live performance into a fantastic space opera. If you are traveling in Beijing or Shanghai in early November, you may check out a live hip-hop concert by Kanye. 11.1 Beijing: Workers Gymnasium, 7:30 pm. 11.3 Shanghai: Shanghai Grand Stage, 7:30 pm. Tickets range from RMB￥ 280 - ￥2000, available at http://www.piao.com.cn/ en_piao/shouye.asp, or 010-64177845 (Beijing), 021-63744968 (Shanghai).
Chinese Astrology Forecast for the Month Edited by May Ouyang
The Rat: You may encounter some healthy problems and be at risk of injuries from metal items. Live a healthy life, be careful when handling metal objects, and drive defensively. Your coworkers will be of great help, so get more involved on and off work. The Ox: Problems and obstacles are coming in your w a y, s o y o u n e e d to be prepared for challenges. Study hard, and don’t hesitate to ask for advice from others. There is a chance of having stomachrelated sickness, so pay close attention to what you eat. T h e T i g e r : Yo u r family member may need monetary assistance from you, and you should help him/her out. For married couples, you will have some arguments, and you need to control your temper. For single tigers, this is a lucky month. Hang out with your friends, and don’t miss out the opportunity. The Rabbit: Everything goes smoothly this month. Although married couples may have some arguments, you will work them out. Take chances to improve your interpersonal skills, and you will win more respect from your family members and coworkers.
The Dragon: You will make no big process this month, so you may take a rest and spend some time with your family. Those who are in a relationship will be easily irritated, and need to be patient and improve the communication skills. The Snake: This is a great time to develop or improve the relationship with your beloved ones. You will have a clear vision of your future this month. You will feel some pressure from work and daily life, so you’ll be better off doing exercises on a regular basis to relieve the stress and keep yourself healthy. The Horse: You will have some conflicts with your colleagues and subordinates. Take a deep breath and figure out the problems. There is a chance for you to meet someone who will be able to help you, don’t miss it out. The Goat: This is the time for you to travel, so take a vacation or visit your relatives and spend some quality time with them. Some elderly family members may fall ill and need your help. Lend a hand and try to stay by their side.
The Monkey: If you have your own business, you will encounter some strong competitors this month. Don’t be afraid and think of it as a learning o p p o r t u n i t y. E m p l o y e e m o r a l e is not very high, so you need to communicate more with them and figure a way out. The Rooster: October is a busy month for you. Instead of freaking out, make a priority list and strictly follow the schedule. Do not overwork, as you need to keep a healthy life. It is also important to control your temper, as you may easily be irritated when you are stressful. The Dog: Not everything goes the way as you planned. Don’t be depressed . Take a rest. Seek for alternatives to solve existing problems, and think about your plan in the long tern. You will get a lot of advice, both good and bad. Do the analysis yourself, and stay away from unsolicited advice. Stay home and spend more time with your family. The Pig: There are a lot of opportunities in front you this month, but you need to make right choices. Go with your trusted friends, coworkers or clients, and stay away from strangers. You will be tied up with work, but you’d better off taking some time off and helping your family members who need you.
Feedbacks from Readers Please let us know what you liked, didn't like, stories you would like to see covered, favorite topics, etc. Also, please let us know about any error you found in our pages. Thanks in advance for your responses! Associate Editor: Liu Na, email@example.com
Dear editor: It was such a pleasure reading iChina, and for the first time of my life, I made mooncakes myself! It was not easy but definitely fun. When the weather starts cooling down, I enjoy spending more time cooking and baking at home. I don’t know how authentic my homemade mooncakes were, but they tasted great! Thanks for sharing the recipe! -- Susan from Logan, UT. -------------------------------------------Dear May, Speaking of wedding, you know what, when I traveled to China, I went to Hangzhou to attend a Chinese friend’s wedding. It was a perfect combination of Chinese tradition and Western style. Well, I followed the trend and gave them a red envelope, and I received a super cute pair of Chinese Gold Boy Jade Girl as the take-home gift. On the reception, the bride and groom greeted the guests themselves, and they even lit the cigarette for the guests by using the match packed in some special, redcolored matchbox. Here I attached some pictures. -- Mike from Irvine, Califiornia
Hi, Editor, When I read the Oct issue of iChina, I just got back from my trip to Jiuzhaigou, and I was amazed by the breath-taking scenery. I’d like to share some picture I took, and I would highly recommend Jiuzhaigou to anyone who wants to taste the wonders of water. Since the province was hit hard by the earthquake in May, there weren’t so many tourists, and we got a chance to admire a really quiet beauty. -- Stephanie from Chengdu -------------------------------------------Hi, editor, I was glad to receive the iChina magazine, and I hope to learn more about the country and people through your magazine. I am going to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong for a conference next month, and I am excited about my trip. I don’t know if I have the time to check out the local American restaurants, and I’ll bring the list with me, just in case. -- Ed from Chicago, IL
52 GIFT SAMPLES
Readership Survey As a highly valued reader, you can help us improve iCHINA. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and get a chance to win a special gifts from China. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Collected information will only be used for research purposes, and will be kept confidential and never disclosed to any other party.
Gift 1: Chopstick Cover
Gift 2: Purse
Sex: ____ Male ____ Female Age: ______ Race: ____white ____Asian ____African ____Hispanic or Latino ____Chinese Marital Status: ___ Single ___ Married ___ Divorced Highest Education Level: _________________________ Employment: ___________________________________ If employed, your job title is _______________________ Household Income: $ _____________________________
Subscribe to iChina and Save
Gift 3: Handbag
Gift 4: Shoulder Bag
1 year (12 Issues x $2.99) for $28 22% off the cover 2 years (24 Issues x $2.99) for $51 30% off the cover Student rate, one year, $25 Payment enclosed. ONE free issue on a one-year subscription, 12 in all; or TWO free issues on a two-year subscription, 24 in all. Bill me (Cash and Check accepted)
Full Name: Title/Position Street Address: Street Address (line 2): City/ State/Zip Email Address:* Send this form to: iChina, 7515 BLACK MOUNTAIN DR. AUSTIN, TEXAS 78736
Call for Articles
Publish your own book!
Dear Readers: The next issue of iChina will be out in December 2008. Do you have a piece of news, an opinion or a comment on China-related activities or events? Do you have any stories to share with our readers? Are you an expatriate working in China? Are you involved in a project that would be of interest to our readers? Then please accept our invitation to have your article printed in the only monthly publication talking about Chinese in the U.S., iChina magazine. Topics vary from politics, economy, and technology to culture, tradition, and lifestyle—or anything else related to China. Please send your article with accompanying pictures as separate files to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to your contributions!
Have you written a book? Do you want to publish it? Have you submitted your manuscript to several publishing companies but got turned away? If you have said yes to any of the above questions, iChina Media Group could be your help. iChina Media Group provides superior publishing, editorial & book marketing services in both U.S. and China, and is now offering affordable self publishing services to individuals. And the quantities could be as little as 25 books. If you have a manuscript you would like us to consider for publication – in either English or Chinese, please send an email with your detailed contact information and manuscript attached to nliu@ ichinamag.com. Make sure your document is in either PDF or WORD format. Once we receive your manuscript, our editorial staff will review it, and an associate will contact you about your work within 72 hours. We look forward to making your dream come true!
The iChina staff
The iChina Staff
Published on Dec 30, 2008