Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for January 21st, 2011

Population of China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

Here is a quote from 120 years ago. Damn the Chinese have been busy. If this is true, they grew by over 300% in the meantime
from The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)

The population of China has never been exactly ascertained. It has been variously estimated by foreign travellers, Sacharoff, in 1842, placing the figure at over four hundred millions.

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Hey You Put Peanut Butter in My Chocolate- Hey You Put Dead Prisoner Skin in My Make up- WTF

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

According to this post, China is being accused of using the skin from executed prisoners to be put in hheatlh and beauty products in Europe. In addition, it is said that body parts are being harvested from Chinese prisoners and then sold.

“The beauty products from the skin of executed Chinese prisonersA Chinese cosmetics company is using skin harvested from the corpses of executed convicts to develop beauty products for sale in Europe, an investigation by the Guardian has discovered.

Agents for the firm have told would-be customers it is developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot. The agents say some of the company’s products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is “traditional” and nothing to “make such a big fuss about”.

With European regulations to control cosmetic treatments such as collagen not expected for several years, doctors and politicians say the discovery highlights the dangers faced by the increasing number of Britons seeking to improve their looks. Apart from the ethical concerns, there is also the potential risk of infection.

MPs on the Commons select health committee are to examine the regulatory system and may launch an investigation and question ministers about the need for immediate new controls. “I am sure that the committee will want to look at this,” said Kevin Barron, its Labour chairman. “This is something everyone in society will be very concerned about.”

Plastic surgeons are also concerned about the delay in introducing regulations to control the cosmetic treatments industry. Norman Waterhouse, a former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: “I am surprised that we are taking the lead from the European commission, because this is bound to delay action on this important area which is increasingly a matter for concern. It seems like a bit of a cop out to me.”

It is unclear whether any of the “aesthetic fillers” such as collagen available in the UK or on the internet are supplied by the company, which cannot be identified for legal reasons. It is also unclear whether collagen made from prisoners’ skin is in the research stage or is in production. However, the Guardian has learned that the company has exported collagen products to the UK in the past. An agent told customers it had also exported to the US and European countries, and that it was trying to develop fillers using tissue from aborted foetuses.


When formally approached by the Guardian, the agent denied the company was using skin harvested from executed prisoners. However, he had already admitted it was doing precisely this during a number of conversations with a researcher posing as a Hong Kong businessman. The Press Complaints Commission’s code of practice permits subterfuge if there is no other means of investigating a matter of public interest.

The agent told the researcher: “A lot of the research is still carried out in the traditional manner using skin from the executed prisoner and aborted foetus.” This material, he said, was being bought from “bio tech” companies based in the northern province of Heilongjiang, and was being developed elsewhere in China.

He suggested that the use of skin and other tissues harvested from executed prisoners was not uncommon. “In China it is considered very normal and I was very shocked that western countries can make such a big fuss about this,” he said. Speaking from his office in northern China, he added: “The government has put some pressure on all the medical facilities to keep this type of work in low profile.”

The agent said his company exported to the west via Hong Kong.”We are still in the early days of selling these products, and clients from abroad are quite surprised that China can manufacture the same human collagen for less than 5% of what it costs in the west.” Skin from prisoners used to be even less expensive, he said. “Nowadays there is a certain fee that has to be paid to the court.”

The agent’s admission comes after an inquiry into the cosmetic surgery industry in Britain, commissioned by the Department of Health, pointed to the need for new regulations controlling collagen treatments. Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer, has highlighted the inquiry’s concerns about the use of cadavers for cosmetic treatments. “Cosmetic procedures are a rapidly growing area of private health care,” he said. “We must ensure we properly protect patients’ safety by improving the training and regulation.”

The DoH has agreed to the inquiry’s recommendations, but is waiting for the European commission to draw up proposals for laws governing cosmetic products. It could be several years before this legislation takes force.

Meanwhile, cosmetic treatments, including those with with aesthetic fillers, are growing rapidly in popularity, with around 150,000 injections or implants administered each year in the UK. Lip enhancement treatments are one of the most popular, costing an average of £170.

Some fillers are made from cattle or pig tissue, and others from humans. The DoH believes that there may be a risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses and even vCJD from collagen containing human tissue. Although there is as yet no evidence that this has happened, the inquiry found that some collagen injections had triggered inflammatory reactions causing permanent discomfort, scarring and disfigurement. In their report, the inquiry team said that if there was a risk, “action should be taken to protect patient safety through regulation”.

While new regulations are to be drawn up, the department is currently powerless to regulate most human-tissue fillers intended for injection or implant, as they occupy a legal grey area. Most products are not governed by regulations controlling medical products, as they are not classified as medicines. They also escape cosmetics regulations, which only apply to substances used on the surface of the skin and not those injected beneath it. The Healthcare Commission is planning new regulations for cosmetic surgery clinics next year, but these will not control the substances used by plastic surgeons.

Hand transplants

A number of plastic surgeons have told the Guardian that they have been hearing rumours about the use of tissue harvested from executed prisoners for several years.

Peter Butler, a consultant plastic surgeon and government adviser, said there had been rumours that Chinese surgeons had performed hand transplants using hands from executed prisoners. One transplant centre was believed to be adjacent to an execution ground. “I can see the utility of it, as they have access and no ethical objection,” he said. “The main concern would be infective risk.”

Andrew Lee of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who has visited China to examine transplant techniques, said he had heard similar rumours.

Manufacturers of aesthetic fillers said they had seen Chinese collagen products on sale at trade fairs, but had not seen any labelled Chinese-made in the UK. Dan Cohen, whose US-based company, Inamed, produces collagen products, said: “We have come across Chinese products in the market place. But most products from China are being sold ‘off-label’ or are being imported illegally.”

In China, authorities deny that prisoners’ body parts are harvested without their consent. However, there is some evidence to suggest it may be happening.

In June 2001, Wang Guoqi, a Chinese former military physician, told US congressmen he had worked at execution grounds helping surgeons to harvest the organs of more than 100 executed prisoners, without prior consent. The surgeons used converted vans parked near the execution grounds to begin dissecting the bodies, he told the house international relations committee’s human rights panel.

Skin was said to be highly valued for the treatment of burn victims, and Dr Wang said that in 1995 he skinned a shot convict’s body while the man’s heart was still beating. Dr Wang, who was seeking asylum in the US, also alleged that corneas and other body tissue were removed for transplant, and said his hospital, the Tianjin paramilitary police general brigade hospital, sold body parts for profit.

Human rights activists in China have repeatedly claimed that organs have been harvested from the corpses of executed prisoners and sold to surgeons offering transplants to fee-paying foreigners.

Dr Wang’s allegations infuriated the Chinese authorities, and in a rare move officials publicly denounced him as a liar. The government said organs were transplanted from executed prisoners only if they and their family gave consent.

Although the exact number of people facing the death penalty in China is an official secret, Amnesty International believes around 3,400 were executed last year, with a further 6,000 on death row.

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Cool Ad in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

I saw this by the art museum in Beijing. The ad was for cars and was showing the development of man from being a caveman to a more intelligent creature.

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Funny Chinese Sign

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

I understand the pick up after part but what about the curbing?

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China Pic

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

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North and South China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

This was written 120 years ago, but still seems relevant today.

from The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)

The inhabitants of the coast provinces are distinguished from the dwellers in the north and in the far interior by a marked alertness of mind and general temperament. The Chinese themselves declare that virtue is associated with mountains, wisdom with water, cynically implying that no one is both virtuous and wise. Between the inhabitants of the various provinces there is little love lost. Northerners fear and hate southerners, and the latter hold the former in infinite scorn and contempt. Thus, when in 1860 the Franco-British force made for Peking, it was easy enough to secure the services of any number of Cantonese, who remained as faithful as though the attack had been directed against some third nationality.


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China and Security

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

– CLANCY, Tom – The Bear And The Dragon

Langley hadn’t recruited many Chinese Americans into the fold… and one of those it had gotten was now in Federal prison after having developed a serious case of divided loyalties. It was a fact that certain federal agencies were allowed to be racist, and today Chinese ethnicity was strongly suspect at CIA headquarters. Well, there wasn’t anything he could do about that—nor could he pretend to be Chinese himself, Nomuri knew. To some half-blind racist European types, everyone with crooked eyes looked the same, but here in Beijing, Nomuri, whose ancestry was a hundred percent Japanese (albeit entirely of the southern California variety), figured he stood out about as much as Michael Jordan would. It wasn’t something to make an intelligence officer without diplomatic cover feel comfortable, especially since the Chinese Ministry of State Security was as active and well-supported as it was. MSS was every bit as powerful in this city as the Soviet KGB had ever been in Moscow, and was probably just as ruthless. China, Nomuri reminded himself, had been in the business of torturing criminals and other unloved ones for thousands of years… and his ethnicity would not be overly helpful. The Chinese did business with the Japanese because it was convenient—necessary was a more accurate term—but there was precisely zero love lost between the countries. Japan had killed far more Chinese in World War II than Hitler had killed Jews, a fact little appreciated anywhere in the world, except, of course, in China, and that set of facts only added to a racial/ethnic antipathy that went back at least as far as Kublai Khan.

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Chinese Circumcision- Dont try This at Home

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

My colleague seemed tired so I asked him what was wrong. He happily told me that his son had been in the hospital and had an operation. Feeling that this is not a cause for joy, I offered my condolences. Grinning he told me it was nothing serious, then struggled to explain.
What had happened was that his two year old had just been circumcised. I was like “2 years old and they did that?”
He then explained that in china this procedure was not practiced in the past, but now is. I dont know why they waited so long but they did. And in any event his kid had to spend a week in the hospital. I asked why and he said that in order to keep the kid from getting an infection, by touching the incision on his junk, they tie the kid down to a freaking bed for one week.! No kidding,. I think this is worth repeating. It is 2011 and this guy takes his kid to get circumcised and then the kid is forced to stay in the hospital for one week with his arms and legs tied to the bed posts so he doesn’t touch himself and ruin the procedure. He said they catheterized the kid and left him tied up for seven days.
Shaking my head in wonderment i figured at least things are better than a decade ago when they probably performed the procedure with pickaxes and pitchforks.

Wondering just what in the heck i would find out about china next, I went down to buy a dark cherry moca latte from Starbucks.

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Chinese Lady Sets Herself on Fire to Protest Forced Eviction from Houses

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

This woman was upset with the fact that in China the land is being stolen from the masses and given to the rich. In an evil twist on Robin Hood, the poor have little or no recourse to fight when confronted with these problems. The woman pictured below, set herself on fire in protest.



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Chinese Rabbit

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

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