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An American in China

Archive for July 9th, 2010

McDonalds and China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

McDonalds has some drama about some preservatives in their food. Is this really surprising to anyone? Here in China, they are pursuing the sotry with a vigor(see snippet below). Which to me is quite laughable. I live in China and I see what happens here on a daily basis. I love the place but it is like a zoo of fraud, deceit and anarchy. The Chinese reuse the food from your plate to save money – this is true. They reuse old oil by skimming off the cigarette buts food and such, then sieve it and serve it to us again. They currently have more toxic milk, that kills children and causes kidney stones, but are upset with McDonalds.
IN the end it is all about face. China, by showcasing this McDonalds issue, can show their people that they are not so brutish or thuggish and that they are no different than anyone else. The problem is that Chinese more than anyone know better. Anyone who has lived here has seen the depths to which the Chinese will sink to make a buck, and are usually appalled by it. The place is great, but has some serious challenges.

McDonald’s China said Thursday that the company is “actively cooperating” with China’s food safety authorities in an investigation of its Chicken McNuggets for possible harmful additives, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.

Media reports home and abroad said that the McNuggets contain preservatives made from tertiary butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), a petroleum-based product, and dimethylpolysiloxane (the most common form of silicon and an anti-foaming agent).

Posted in Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »

Germany, The World Cup and China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

Germany kicked butt in the World Cup, but bowed out to Spain. This is a bummer to me personally as I thought they were tremendous. They played with the precision of a Mercedes and were fun to watch. I lost some cash as well, as I had bet on them to take home the trophy. I still congratulate them on their showing, however.

But the point of the post is how Germany is viewed in China imho. It would appear that all countries chock full of whites (USA, UK, Germany, Australia -(France is an odd exception but they too were/are socialist and China is communist so that may be the connection) are somewhat scorned here in China. By scorned, i mean it may not be en vogue to say that you want Germany to win the world cup or England, as it is too easy to label them as racists, just as they do with the USA. It seems as if China has caught this world fever of being against ‘the man’ and is applying the label of ‘racist’ to countries of anglo descent. Thus, it is easier for China to root for Spain in the world cup, as they are not as blatantly anglo as a Germany, England, or Finland.

There is also a bit of envy perhaps. As Germany, a couintry of 82 million, and thus about 7% the size of China can do so well in soccer when China has yet to score a world cup goal. As i type, i cant help but think that the jealousy for Germany goes much deeper. If we proceed with the above logic and then extrapolate, we may be able to understand why China may resent or feel jealousy towards Germany (I just sensed this in the World Cup, but have never seen outright overtures to corroborate this). For instance, Germany has such a rich history in the areas of math and science, and the history goes back for quite a time, they represent a challenge to what China sees as her historical greatness. Chinese brag about the ‘great discoveries’ they have had, which is limited to things that were useful before the turn of the millennium, wheelbarrows, ice cream and such. But Germany is responsible for things such as : movable type, thermometers, telephone, jet engines, the automobile and many more. When comparing the discoveries of the two, especially over the past 500 years, one can see how China would be intimidated.

So it would seem that China can back a country like Spain over Germany. Yes Spain too has a rich history, but they are safer. They do not have the ‘anglo’ look of the other country and thus are more politically acceptable to back , imho.

But lest I mislead you please understand that the Chinese, being a practical sort, love their German autos. They purchase scads of Mercedes, BMW’s and Audis are quite party with the communist party members. The leader of China, it is said, even eschews the local brands for an Audi. So, it would appear that there is a love hate relationship for the Chinese with Germany. The Germans I have spoken with really dont give a shit, they are pretty unconcerned about it.

In summary, good job Germany you kicked ass!

by cars
spain safe

Posted in Ranting in general | Leave a Comment »

Classy Quote From China on Human Rights

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

This is true, no shit! In China they have death vans, theres are mobil platforms where the Chinese exucute prisoners. The guy how designed them said that the fact that China uses lethal injection means that China promotes human rights now!”  WTF?? Is that the definition of human rights?

from the USA today…

“Makers of the death vans say the vehicles and injections are a civilized alternative to the firing squad, ending the life of the condemned more quickly, clinically and safely. The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China “promotes human rights now,” says Kang Zhongwen, who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van…”

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities, Let me educate you..., Ranting in general | Leave a Comment »

China Creates Ultimate Death Machine

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

Chinese tycoon Yuan Baojing was sentenced to death by lethal  injection after he was convicted of having an attempted blackmailer  killed. Yuan and two accomplices were put to death in March.
Enlarge AFP/Getty Images
Chinese tycoon Yuan Baojing was sentenced to death by lethal injection after he was convicted of having an attempted blackmailer killed. Yuan and two accomplices were put to death in March.

<FONT size=1>This is a "Death Car" mobile execution  unit. China is now executing criminals in these units. </FONT>
Enlarge Jinguan Group
This is a “Death Car” mobile execution unit. China is now executing criminals in these units.

Cost: $37,500 to $75,000, depending on vehicle’s size
Length: 20 to 26 feet
Top speed: 65 to 80 mph


Execution chamber: in the back, with blacked-out windows; seats beside the stretcher for a court doctor and guards; sterilizer for injection equipment; wash basin
Observation area: in the middle, with a glass window separating it from execution area; can accommodate six people; official-in-charge oversees the execution through monitors connected to the prisoner and gives instruction via walkie-talkie.
Driver area

Production to date: at least 40 vehicles, made by Jinguan and two other companies in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces


By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY
CHONGQING, China — Zhang Shiqiang, known as the Nine-Fingered Devil, first tasted justice at 13. His father caught him stealing and cut off one of Zhang’s fingers.

Twenty-five years later, in 2004, Zhang met retribution once more, after his conviction for double murder and rape. He was one of the first people put to death in China’s new fleet of mobile execution chambers.

The country that executed more than four times as many convicts as the rest of the world combined last year is slowly phasing out public executions by firing squad in favor of lethal injections. Unlike the United States and Singapore, the only two other countries where death is administered by injection, China metes out capital punishment from specially equipped “death vans” that shuttle from town to town.

Makers of the death vans say the vehicles and injections are a civilized alternative to the firing squad, ending the life of the condemned more quickly, clinically and safely. The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China “promotes human rights now,” says Kang Zhongwen, who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van in which “Devil” Zhang took his final ride.

State secret

For years, foreign human rights groups have accused China of arbitrary executions and cruelty in its use of capital punishment. The exact number of convicts put to death is a state secret. Amnesty International estimates there were at least 1,770 executions in China in 2005 — vs. 60 in the United States, but the group says on its website that the toll could be as high as 8,000 prisoners.

The “majority are still by gunshot,” says Liu Renwen, death penalty researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a think tank in Beijing. “But the use of injections has grown in recent years, and may have reached 40%.”

China’s critics contend that the transition from firing squads to injections in death vans facilitates an illegal trade in prisoners’ organs.

Injections leave the whole body intact and require participation of doctors. Organs can “be extracted in a speedier and more effective way than if the prisoner is shot,” says Mark Allison, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International in Hong Kong. “We have gathered strong evidence suggesting the involvement of (Chinese) police, courts and hospitals in the organ trade.”

Executions in death vans are recorded on video and audio that is played live to local law enforcement authorities — a measure intended to ensure they are carried out legally.

China’s refusal to give outsiders access to the bodies of executed prisoners has added to suspicions about what happens afterward: Corpses are typically driven to a crematorium and burned before relatives or independent witnesses can view them.

Chinese authorities are sensitive to allegations that they are complicit in the organ trade. In March, the Ministry of Health issued regulations explicitly banning the sale of organs and tightening approval standards for transplants.

Even so, Amnesty International said in a report in April that huge profits from the sale of prisoners’ organs might be part of why China refuses to consider doing away with the death penalty.

“Given the high commercial value of organs, it is doubtful the new regulations will have an effect,” Allison says.

Local executions

Makers of death vans say they save money for poor localities that would otherwise have to pay to construct execution facilities in prisons or court buildings. The vans ensure that prisoners sentenced to death can be executed locally, closer to communities where they broke the law.

That “deters others from committing crime and has more impact” than executions carried out elsewhere, Kang says.

Jinguan — “Golden Champion” in Chinese — lies an hour’s drive from Chongqing in southwestern China, below the green slopes of Cliff Mountain. Along with the death vans, the company also makes bulletproof limousines for the country’s rich and armored trucks for banks. Jinguan’s glossy death van brochure is printed in both Chinese and English.

From the outside, the vans resemble the police vehicles seen daily on China’s roads. A look inside reveals their function.

“I’m most proud of the bed. It’s very humane, like an ambulance,” Kang says. He points to the power-driven metal stretcher that glides out at an incline. “It’s too brutal to haul a person aboard,” he says. “This makes it convenient for the criminal and the guards.”

The lethal cocktail used in the injections is mixed only in Beijing, something that has prompted complaints from local courts.

“Some places can’t afford the cost of sending a person to Beijing — perhaps $250 — plus $125 more for the drug,” says Qiu Xingsheng, a former judge working as a lawyer in Chongqing. Death-by-gunshot requires “very little expense,” he says.

Qiu has attended executions by firing squad where the kneeling prisoner is shot in the back of the head. The guards “ask the prisoner to open his mouth, so the bullet can pass out of the mouth and leave the face intact,” he says.

No debate

In the United States, some death row inmates and death penalty opponents want the Supreme Court to declare lethal injections cruel and unusual. A recent lawsuit claimed inmates suffer excruciating pain during executions because they do not get enough anesthetic.

There is no such debate in China, which uses the same three-drug cocktail as the U.S. federal government and most U.S. states: sodium thiopental to make the condemned unconscious, pancuronium bromide to stop breathing, potassium chloride to stop the heart.

People’s Daily and other state media describe the mix as a “non-virulent drug,” bringing about “immediate clinical death while inflicting no physiological pain.”

“It doesn’t matter what method you use,” Qiu says. “If someone is convicted of a capital crime, they should be executed.”

Chinese prisoners condemned to death are not offered a choice of injection over gunshot, but Qiu and others suspect wealth and connections can buy the newer method.

“It is a real phenomenon that gangsters and corrupt officials are killed by injection more than gunshot, so their bodies are intact, and death is less painful,” Liu says. “But I doubt it is government policy. These criminals are usually held in cities, where the injection is used. Common criminals are held in county-level facilities, where shooting is more common.”

Tycoon Yuan Baojing was executed in March in a death van, in northeast China’s Liaoyang city. He had been convicted of arranging the murder of a man trying to blackmail him for attempting to assassinate a business partner.

Sixty-eight different crimes — more than half non-violent offenses such as tax evasion and drug smuggling — are punishable by death in China. That means the death vans are likely to keep rolling.

“If we abolish the death penalty, then crime will grow,” Kang says.

Posted in China Fact, Let me educate you... | Leave a Comment »

China Fact- The Deadly Plague

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

from here

China is not free from Europe’s medieval plague yet

In 2009 China ended a quarantine blockade around a remote northwestern town hit by pneumonic plague. The outbreak of the highly infectious disease killed three villagers around Ziketan Town in Qinghai province. But with no new infections reported for over a week, authorities decided to lift the blockade on the remote town of 10,000 in a heavily ethnic Tibetan area. China experiences sporadic outbreaks of the plague, which is typically spread by rodents and fleas and can pass easily between people.

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Chinese Village Strippers

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

This is a photo of some villagers in China who hire strippers to entertain the village. China was pretty pissed about it or embarrassed and tried to clamp down. I have better pics so I will be giving you the full scoop later.

Scantily-clad Chinese girls perform for villagers.


Posted in Cultural oddities, Photos | Leave a Comment »

Tainted Milk Again in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

Now, for the third time in three years, toxic milk has turned up in China. The latest batch totaling 64 tons was found in northwest China. They will never learn, no matter how many die. It is actually sad.

China Daily “BEIJING – Food safety authorities have seized 64 tonnes of raw dairy materials contaminated with the toxic chemical, melamine, in a dairy plant in northwest China’a Qinghai province, the provincial quality watchdog said.
Tests of samples of the milk powder showed up to 500 times the maximum allowed level of the chemical, said the quality watchdog in Gansu province, where the contaminated milk powder was first discovered. Police traced the source of the milk powder to Dongyuan Dairy Factory, in Minhe County in neighboring Qinghai province.

Another 12 tonnes of finished milk powder products, also tainted, were also seized.

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities | 1 Comment »

China Building Walls to Keep out Chinese Immigrants

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

China is still building walls, but now it is to keep out the poor Chinese.

“BEIJING – Closed-off management, which has been implemented in some Beijing villages where migrant residents outnumber permanent residents, will be further promoted across the capital after the move received approval from both the country’s top police official and the city’s Party chief.

Under such an enclosed management system, residents have to present their ID cards or temporary residence permits to get in and out of the villages. Boundary walls have been set up around the villages installed with surveillance cameras. At present, 16 villages in Beijing’s Daxing district are under such a pilot management scheme designed to improve security in the suburban areas, where a lot of migrant people reside.”

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities | 1 Comment »

Chinese Workers

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 9, 2010

Chinese stores are a trip, they are packed with people, unfortunately most of them are employees. The idea is that in China, you can procure the services of an able-bodied worker for about U$120 per month. That means you practically own them, no one obeys the law, so you can work them 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. So, when you enter a store here, you are surrounded by these workers. Its not as if they are customer friendly, its another interesting Chinese secret. They are all afraid, in China, the boss over hires, it happens everywhere. They do this so no one worker feels to confident and indispensable, all Chinese stores do this.

Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »