Την ίδια ώρα, στην Κίνα...

Tagore Translation Deemed Racy Is Pulled From Stores in China (NYT / Amy Qin)

The anger mostly focused on three of the 326 poems, all of which Mr. Feng, like most earlier translators, based on English versions. In one, which was translated into English by Tagore himself, the poet wrote: “The world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover. It becomes small as one song, as one kiss of the eternal.”

By contrast, Mr. Feng’s translation in Chinese reads: “The world unzipped his pants in front of his lover. Long as a French kiss, slim as a line of a poem.”

Mr. Feng continues to stand by his translation.

“My only intention was to capture the aesthetics of Tagore’s poems,” he said. “When I translate, I’m a writer. I don’t need to know the context. I just want to do things as freely and as creatively as possible.”

Even with the uproar, many were perhaps even more surprised by the announcement in December from the Zhejiang Wenyi Publishing House that it would halt sales of the book and review the translation. It is unclear whether the book will be returned to shelves. Reached by telephone, the company declined to comment.
A man we'll call Zhang Yong used to be a welder in Heilongjiang Province, but the economy in China's industrial heartland in the northeast has soured, so he has taken up unique employment in Beijing.

Each morning he rides his electric motorbike to Beijing Union Medical College Hospital, one of the top medical facilities in the capital, and walks into the lobby. Zhang, who is in his early 40s, then starts his day selling appointments for highly sought-after medical specialists to patients on the black market.

Zhang said he has been a scalper for two years, meaning he knows about all the best specialists at Beijing's top hospitals – and how to get his sick customers in to see them.

The key to his work is patience. In a country where waiting in line is often optional, the former welder spends several hours queuing to get a number to see a doctor, usually in seven days.

Zhang – and many others like him – then resells appointments, possible because the numbers he takes are not linked to anyone's real name or ID card. He usually pays a few dozen yuan for each number ticket, then resells it to patients for up to several thousand yuan.
The latest uproar over hospital scalping started after a video went viral in January showing a woman railing about being charged 4,500 yuan for an appointment that should have cost 300 yuan.


Staff member
Όταν θα βγει ο Τραμπ πρόεδρος στην Αμερική, θα φτιάξουμε νήμα «Την ίδια ώρα, στις ΔΠΑ», με πολεμικές ανταποκρίσεις από τις Διχασμένες/Διαλυμένες Πολιτείες της Αμερικής. :-( :-)


O Tράμπ αν ήταν πρόεδρος θα είχε ήδη βομβαρδισει τις Βρυξέλλες, οπότε δεν θα υπήρχαν τρομοκρατικές επιθέσεις.
‘China’s Worst Policy Mistake’?
Nicholas D. Kristof / The NY Review of Books

China’s Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy
by Kay Ann Johnson
University of Chicago Press, 218 pp., $22.50

One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment
by Mei Fong
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 250 pp., $27.00

However well-intended it may have been, the one-child policy arose from a totalitarian approach to governing and violated the most fundamental of human rights—and it was also unnecessary, for the previous voluntary policy had already slashed fertility rates.
Reality show singer breaks China's Cultural Revolution taboo
Yang Le draws applause and tears as song tells of how he lost his father in Mao’s crackdown on perceived enemies, which began 50 years ago
(Tom Phillips / The Guardian)

Nearly half a century after his father plunged to his death from the roof of a Beijing university, Yang Le stepped out on to the stage to tell millions of Chinese television viewers how Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution had torn his family apart.

“When I was young we were a family of six … My father was handsome, mum was young and beautiful,” sang the silver-haired contestant on China Star, the country’s answer to the X-Factor. “After the Cultural Revolution only five of us were left.”

When his lament-filled, taboo-breaking performance ended, Yang bit his lower lip. Applause rippled through the theatre; the judges leapt to their feet; tears streamed down cheeks.

“I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get through the song,” the 60-year-old musician recalled in a tearful interview. “I had to force myself to relax because it wasn’t only me who went through this. Millions of other families went through this in China.”

May marks 50 years since China was convulsed by Mao Zedong’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a bewildering and bloody attempt by the leader to reshape and reassert control over the Communist party he had helped found in 1921 by mobilising the nation’s youth.

A new book on the period by Dutch historian Frank Dikötter reveals the grotesque catalogue of violence inflicted upon alleged “class enemies” and intellectuals as teenage Red Guards fanned out across urban China with orders to “sweep away monsters and demons”.

Victims were beaten, flogged, stoned and scolded by “Mao’s Little Generals” or forced to swallow nails and excrement as jeering crowds looked on. Homes and places of worship were ransacked, pillaged and burned. One teacher killed himself after being set upon by students who forced him to drink ink. Another was doused in petrol and set alight. Others were electrocuted or even buried alive.

“[It was] a demented environment, an Alice-in-Wonderland world, governed only by its mad logic,” Percy Cradock, then a senior British diplomat in Beijing, recalls in his memoirs. “The country was in the grip of a nightmare.”

Among the estimated two million people who lost their lives over the coming decade was Yang Le’s father, Wang Yuguo, a lecturer in industrial economy at Beijing’s prestigious Renmin University.

“My father was persecuted and he killed himself. He jumped from the roof of a building,” the singer said.

“At Renmin University you heard of professors killing themselves every day. It was horrible. I would hear someone crying and we would wonder who was crying and whose family was suffering those bad things.”

The premature death of Yang’s father devastated his family. His mother was forced to sell her dead husband’s belongings – and even her own blood – to feed the couple’s four children. Yang’s three siblings were packed off to the countryside for “re-education” as part of an attempt to rein in Mao’s marauding Red Guards.

Finally, Yang’s mother remarried and moved south to Jiangxi province. “She felt sad,” he said. “But she had no choice.”

China’s Communist party leaders have officially classified the Cultural Revolution as a mistake.

A 1981 resolution noted that the decade-long upheaval “was responsible for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses by the party, the state and the people since the founding of the People’s Republic” in 1949.

Two years earlier the People’s Liberation Army marshall Ye Jianying labelled the period “an appalling catastrophe suffered by all our people”.

Yet half a century after the mayhem began the subject remains largely a taboo within China. School textbooks skirt around the period and discussion of Mao’s central role in the disaster is shunned.

Yang, a classically trained flautist who fled China in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown and went on to study at the Schola Cantorum de Paris, said few songs had examined the heartbreak caused by the Cultural Revolution.

The government’s refusal to revisit that era means much about what unfolded in the 10 years between the Cultural Revolution’s start in May 1966 and Mao’s death in 1976 remains hazy.

For example, the exact circumstances surrounding the death of Yang’s father are still shrouded in mystery.

The singer said he believed his father had been interrogated and beaten before he was found dead on 4 December 1968 at the age of 39.

“I heard they used shoes to beat my father in the face. He felt humiliated. He couldn’t stand it,” Yang said.

But before his corpse was cremated, Yang’s mother spotted an indentation in her dead husband’s skull, leading her to suspect he had been set upon by Red Guards and then pushed to his death. “If somebody jumps from a building you would expect to see a problem with their neck, an internal problem, not the kind of trauma that you can see,” he said.

The 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution is unlikely to shine fresh light on such cases. Dikötter predicted that China’s leaders would seek to remember the occasion with total silence.

“[Chinese people] have been told again and again and again: you had better forget. Let’s just get on with it,” the historian said.

“The team in charge is very well aware that there is a danger to its legitimacy and its credibility [in discussing past mistakes]. And it knows very well that history is one of the pillars of its own legitimacy and it will not have it undermined. It is as simple as that.”

The party’s determination to bury the horrors of the Cultural Revolution made Yang Le’s prime-time television performance, in November last year, even more unusual.

The singer said he had feared the show’s producers might attempt to censor the lyrics but had lobbied against that with the help of Cui Jian, a friend and well-known Chinese rock star. The channel relented.

“There are movies and novels that tell stories from that time so why can we not sing this kind of song?” Yang said.

Dikötter said Beijing had been largely successful in “stamping out the memory of the Cultural Revolution” and staving off calls for any significant probe into one of the darkest chapters in Chinese history.

“I think that does leave scars. That does leave a society that is very traumatised by who did what to whom without any sense of redress or justice,” he said.

But the outpouring of emotion triggered by Yang’s performance suggests many have not forgotten the hurt and suffering inflicted on their families.

Yang, who cites Gustav Mahler and Serge Gainsbourg among his influences, said he saw music not simply as entertainment but as a way of inspiring listeners to confront painful truths.

He attributed the tears shed over his performance to the profound emotional burden those who witnessed the excesses of the Cultural Revolution still carried with them.

“Recalling that time in history is something that is extremely heavy for our generation.”

“It was a catastrophe,” he said. “It was like a war.”

Additional reporting by Christy Yao
March 31, 2016
Today President Barack Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Washington, DC. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) sent the following letter to President Obama to highlight its concerns about the Chinese government's worsening crackdown on journalists and cyber activists, which now includes the intimidation and abduction of the family members of Chinese citizens living abroad.

Mr. President,

As you prepare to hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping tomorrow, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) would like to draw your attention to its concerns about the current crackdown on journalists and bloggers in China.

As you are no doubt aware, China is one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists and citizen journalists, currently ranking 176th out of 180 countries on RSF’s 2015 Press Freedom Index. The crackdown on media and cyber activists has continued to worsen since Xi Jinping came into power, and this has most recently been demonstrated by the current witch-hunt led against suspected authors of an anonymous open letter calling for Xi’s resignation.

Shortly after the letter was posted online on March 15, Chinese journalist Jia Jia was arrested in Beijing where he was set to board a flight to Hong Kong. He was released 10 days later. Chang Ping, another Chinese journalist now living in exile in Germany, condemned Jia Jia’s arrest in an article published on March 25. On March 27, Chang Ping reported that Chinese authorities had arrested his two brothers and his sister in China, and had asked his family members to contact him to “demand that [he] immediately cease to publish any articles that criticize the Chinese Communist party.”

Wen Yunchao, also known as BeiFeng, a well-known Chinese blogger and human rights defender now based in New York, learned that his parents and brother were arrested by Chinese police in the southern province of Guangdong on March 22. Wen Yunchao, known for his series of online campaigns in support of human rights and against internet censorship, was rumored to be the anonymous letter’s author. He later denied these rumors. He has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University and in 2010 was awarded the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize by the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights.

According to several trusted sources, at least 20 people have been arrested in China in connection with the anonymous letter calling for Xi Jinping’s resignation. Furthermore, the fact that the Chinese government’s witch-hunt now includes family members of Chinese citizens living abroad, one of whom lives in the United States, is an illustration of the country’s ever-worsening crackdown on freedom of expression and its blatant disregard for international law.

The United States have a duty to guarantee fundamental freedoms for all those who live within its territory. Today the basic rights of Wen Yunchao, an asylum applicant living in the US, have been trampled by a foreign government that is harassing his family members thousands of miles away with complete impunity.

During your bilateral meeting with the Chinese president, it is paramount that you send a clear message that the US will not tolerate his government’s crackdown on freedom of the press and of information in China, no matter how important the economic partnership between your two countries remains.

I thank you in advance, Mr. President, for the careful attention you give to this letter.


Delphine Halgand
US Director

Reporters sans frontières - Pour la liberté de l'information © 2016 Reporters without borders
He compared laogai to the Soviet gulag and to Nazi concentration camps, and blamed the system for the deaths of millions of political prisoners and intellectuals. He even successfully campaigned to introduce the word laogai into the Oxford English Dictionary. Έκατσε και 19 δρομάκια μέσα σ' αυτά, γιατί επέκρινε, λέει, τη σοβιετική εισβολή στην Ουγγαρία το 1956.

Χαχα, ιδιαιτέρως λεπτά τα 18 και 8. Αλλά δεν κατάλαβα το 7: ούτε πώς προέκυψε το NATO ούτε πώς προέκυψε το PRomotionalkitten basket.
Chinese Cyberchiefs Preach Net Sovereignty in Moscow

Τρεις εκπατρισμένοι Αμερικανοί το Σεπτέμβρη του 2015, ο ένας τους έτοιμος να αναχωρήσει από την Κίνα (o Bill Bishop του Sinocism -για το οποίο επιλέγει την προφορά Σίνοσισμ, κατά το cynicism, πράγμα που ίσως εξηγεί γιατί το ονόμασε έτσι) και ο άλλος ενώ το σκέφτεται κι αυτός (ο ραδιοφωνικός παραγωγός Kaiser Kuo), μιλούν για την εποχή Xi Jinping, και για το πώς μεταξύ άλλων το κλίμα γίνεται όλο και πιο επικίνδυνο για έναν Αμερικανό να ζει εκεί. Ο Μπίσοπ προτείνει στους ξένους που τυχόν θέλουν να ζήσουν στην Κίνα να διαβάσουν το On Contradiction του Μάο και σε όλους τους China watchers να διαβάσουν με κάθε σοβαρότητα το The governance of China του τωρινού προέδρου, αφού ο άνθρωπος μιλάει καθαρά για το -αυταρχικό- όραμά του για την Κίνα. Ακόμα, ο Kaiser Kuo λέει για δυο πιτσιρίκια που αναφέρονταν στο δρόμο, στη γειτονιά, στις 3 ερωμένες ενός πλουσίου, που σήκωσαν καβγά γιατί η μια είχε Λαμποργκίνι ενώ η άλλη μόνο Μαζεράτι. (popupchinese)
Wary of China's Indian Ocean activities, U.S., India discuss anti-submarine warfare | Reuters
Both the United States and India are growing concerned at the reach and ambition of the Chinese navy, which is taking an increasingly assertive stance in the South China Sea and is challenging India's domination in the Indian Ocean. New Delhi, shedding its decades-old reluctance to be drawn into America's embrace, agreed last month to open up its military bases to the United States in exchange for access to weapons technology to help it narrow the gap with China.
A warning for parched China: a city runs out of water - Marketplace.org
Yang Shufang wakes up at 5 o'clock each morning and fetches water. "I bring a few buckets, enough for drinking or cooking," she says. Yang doesn’t live in the remote countryside, and her water isn’t from a village well. She lives on the seventh floor of a luxury condominium complex in Lintao, a Chinese city with nearly 200,000 people that’s run out of water. "Right after Chinese New Year, water stopped coming out of the tap," Yang says. "Now we have to stand in line each morning at the front gate of our complex with our buckets and wait for water to be delivered."
Four hundred Chinese cities now face a water shortage. One hundred and ten cities face a severe water shortage. This is a very serious problem," says Liu Changming, a retired hydrologist for the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. China is home to more than 20 percent of the world’s population, but it contains only 7 percent of the world’s fresh water. Liu, who advises China’s leaders on water policy, says all of China's so-called "water scarce" cities are in northern China, home to half a billion people, and a region that contributes nearly half of China’s economic growth. Former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao once called northern China’s water shortage “a threat to the survival of the Chinese nation.”