Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for November 17th, 2010

WordPress Blocked in China?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


Lately all wordpress blogs are blocked, at least from my home and work. The actual site wordpress.com comes up but I cannot read any blogs. Is this just a Beijing thing or throughout China?

ps. I need to get a vpn to answer your comments so be patient please.

Posted in Ranting in general | 2 Comments »

Beijing’s Expat Population is….

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


Currently the number is around 110,000 foreigners living in Beijing.

Posted in China Fact | Leave a Comment »

Rope Jumper in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


I dont know if I blogged this one before but this is truly bizarre. I was visiting friend at his work when I saw this. You cant tell all that well, but this young woman is skipping rope at work..WTF
China is odd and they do some really odd things. I have lived in many other countries and have a pretty good appetite for behavioral differences but this one floored me. It was maybe 20 minutes after lunch so I guess this woman decided that jumping rope would be a good idea.
My question is this:
with the exception of you prize fighters out there, has anyone in their entire lives, ever seen a colleague skipping rope at work…….

Posted in Cultural oddities, Photos | Leave a Comment »

Typical China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


Here is a little store in China. This is pretty typical for Beijing.

Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »

After Seeing Photos of This Chinese Barber, I should Shut Up

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


I found these photos on stareatasia.com. Before I complained about my crappy hairdo and the treatment I recieved at the hair salon. From looking at the photos below, I am reminded that it could have been worse….

Chinese head shave

Chinese head shave

Chinese head shave

Chinese head shave

Chinese head shave

Chinese head shave

Chinese head shave

Chinese head shave

Chinese head shave

but then again, this Chinese guy probably paid a lot less then I did

Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »

Hey You Got Hair in My Soy Sauce- Hey Your Soy Sauce is Made of Hair- WTF in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


Some Chinese guy wrote a book about poor chinese product quality- redundant? And in it he refernces where a company was making soy sauce from human hair, here is an article I found about the subject:

“Shanghai. (Interfax-China) – The Chinese government has shown an unusually high level of concern as a result of a bold media exposure towards a scandal in which human hair was used to make soy sauce. The government has now ordered an immediate inspection of all domestic food seasoning plants before the end of January.

China Central Television (CCTV), the state television station, first
raised public worries over the quality of domestic soy sauce by uncovering a
substandard workshop in central China’s Hubei Province, where piles of
waste human hair were found. The hairs were treated in special containers to
distill amino acid, the most common substance contained in soybean sauce.

Human hair is rich in protein content, just like soybean, wheat and bran,
the conventional and legally accepted raw ingredients for the production
of soy sauce.

The plant, describing itself as a bioengineering company, made around
100,000 tons of amino acid daily, in either syrup or powder form, making
it easier for delivery, plant workers said. They were then distributed to
diluting plants in or near the province, where it was diluted with
approximately ten times water, was then made into ready-for-use soy sauce
and was bottled or packaged.

In one such plant shown on the CCTV program, more chemical additives were
poured into the amino acid syrup and heated and stirred continuously by a
worker. The additives include one whole bag of solid hydroxide to make the sauce taste better, and bottles of hydrochloric acid to balance the acid and
alkali content in the mixture in order to make it safer for human
consumption. Both additives were for industrial use only, according to
their packaging.

By producing soy sauce from such raw materials, the producers were said
able to cut costs by half. Workers employed at the plants, however, never
bought soy sauce marked as “blended” on the packaging, because that usually meant that human hair was the basic material in the sauce.

Posted in China Fact, Product Quality | Leave a Comment »

China Facts- On Product Quality

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


Here is an excerpt from the Telegraph
it is addressing poor quality of Chinese goods.
“That is especially true for China’s toy industry, which produces 80 per cent of the world’s toys. A government report in May revealed that one toy in five made for the domestic market was unsafe. At least 10,000 children a year are injured by defective or dangerous toys. But it is not just toys that threaten the public’s safety. Last month, officials in Beijing raided a factory that was recycling up to 100,000 pairs of bamboo chopsticks a day – none of them disinfected.

Until now though, protecting consumers has been a low priority for the authorities. China’s law on consumer protection and rights has not been updated since it was passed in 1993 and there is no culture of consumer complaints.”Chinese consumers generally don’t complain about sub-standard products, unlike their peers in the West,” said Wu Gaohan,

Posted in China Fact, Product Quality | Leave a Comment »

China Disobeys UN directive, Sells Bullets to Darfur Rebels-

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


This article shows the ‘China effect’. China is a accused of selling bullets to Darfur rebels, which were used in attacks on the UN. The Chinese, afraid of losing face, are seeking to block the report of this news. As China’s economy becomes larger, so does the cost of having it as an international neighbor.

excerpt:

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – China is seeking to block a UN report that says Chinese bullets were used in attacks on UN peacekeepers in Darfur, diplomats said.

The report was discussed at a UN committee that monitors sanctions against Sudan, including an arms embargo against the Darfur region which has been at war since 2003.

Beijing had threatened to block the report unless the wording is changed, one diplomat said. China spoke out against the panel of experts that monitor the sanctions at the UN Security Council last week.

After the meeting, a Chinese representative who identified himself by the name Zhao said the report in Beijing’s opinion “is full of flaws with too many unconfirmed facts.”

“Where did they get the informed sources? No evidence is given,” Zhao said, adding that the report “lacks confirmed facts — how can we agree on those recommendations? We ask them to improve the work of the methodology.” The committee chairman, Austrian ambassador to the UN Thomas Mayr-Harting, confirmed the report had been discussed in the meeting.

Under the 2005 embargo, arms sales to Sudan are legal but the Khartoum government must give guarantees that the supplies will not end up in Darfur, where the UN estimates that at least 300,000 people have been killed in a rebel uprising against the government.

According to diplomats, the report says that bullet casings found at the scene of attacks on UN troops in Darfur were made in China, Sudan and Israel.

“It is not a secret that China supplies arms to Africa,” said another diplomat.

But there is no proof that the bullets were supplied directly to Sudan and they could have been bought elsewhere on the African arms market.

China is one of five permanent members of the Security Council and can block any of its resolutions.

Last week it threatened to block a resolution extending the mandate of the Sudan sanctions committee experts, a diplomat said. It finally abstained following talks with the United States.

“China has serious concerns about the annual report submitted by the panel of experts on the Sudan sanctions committee and believes that there is much room for improvement in the work of the panel,” the Chinese representative told the Security Council, to justify the abstention

Posted in Big brother..., China Fact | Leave a Comment »

Shanghai Apartment Fire- A Look at Whats to Come for China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 17, 2010


In Shanghai they just had a horrible fire which destroyed a building and killed many. The loss of life anywhere is a sad thing and preventable loss of lives even moreso. Unfortunately due to China’s lack of regulations and laws, this scene will no doubt play itself over again. In China’s pursuit to modernize, get face from the 100 years of humiliation, and greed, they are building at a break neck pace with little or no supervision. The quality of China’s buildings is shockingly poor. In Shanghai alone they had a new building tip over and found that its foundation was not pored deeply enough. They also had a bridge whose foundation was filled with trash and not cement (I have blogged both of these in the past). thus, this fire is just a sign of the consequences of China’s unbridled and greedy growth.
It slays me to hear the Chinese government’s reaction to the fire. They said that it was due to ‘unlicensed welders’. I had to read the comment twice. ‘unlicensed welders’? WTF
In a country like China that uses slave labor in their kilns and forced prison labor in factories, they dare talk about unlicensed labor. Does China even have licensed labor? And if they do, is the license as easy to obtain as any other certificate that one merely bribes an official to obtain?
The saddest part is the loss of life. The reality is that problems with China’s buildings is not shocking and will no doubt continue in the future. The consequence is that this is how the future now looks with China in the picture.

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