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Showing posts from April, 2016

Wrestling For A Seat In The Metro - Fight Erupts Between Two Couples In China's Wuhan

In any major city grabbing a seat on the metro can be a stressful experience. But in China disputes between passengers may lead to violent clashes, like the one which happened a few days ago in Wuhan city, capital of China's Hubei Province.
According to local media, on April 20 at around noon a middle-aged couple got on a train of Wuhan metro. The wife put a bag on the seat next to hers. Shortly afterwards, an older couple, about 60 years of age, asked the woman to free the seat. However, the woman refused. The old man insisted that she ought to yield her seat to elderly people, but she would not back down. At that moment, the woman's husband intervened and started cursing the old man, who instead of turning away yelled back. In a fit of rage, the younger man pushed the other away, thus giving rise to a fight between the two couples.

"Listen To The Masses" - Xi Jinping Wants Chinese Government To Take Citizens' Petitions Seriously

Mao Zedong once said that Communist cadres "must be models in applying the Party's democratic centralism, must master the method of leadership based on the principle of 'from the masses, to the masses', and must cultivate a democratic style and be good at listening to the masses". 
"Listening to the masses" - whatever this may mean - has become a common catchphrase of Xi Jinping's new vision for China's Communism. In perfect Maoist rhetorical style, Xi coats his ideology in vague high-sounding phrases, a vagueness that suits a Party leader who doesn't have to engage in debates with opponents and who needs ideological ambiguity in order to rule. Xi's last attempt at reviving the old Maoist principle of "listening to the masses" is the strengthening of Communist China's system of popular petitions, the so-called xinfang(信访). 

The xinfang system dates back to 1951, when the Government Administration Councilissued a "Decisio…

Visiting Missing Hong Kong Booksellers' Causeway Bay Bookstore

Yesterday I was walking with a friend in Causeway Bay, when she suddenly pointed at one of the countless colourful billboards that decorate the shopping district's building facades and said, "That's the bookstore of the missing booksellers!".
The bookstore is called "Causeway Bay Books" (銅鑼灣書店) and it's located on the second floor of a building on Lockhart Road. I and my friend went upstairs and, of course, the bookstore was closed. Next to the entrance door there were messages written on the wall by sympathetic citizens.