Archive for the ‘China’ Category

Sichuan Spice

February 15, 2017

Older chefs and diners in Chengdu, capital of China’s Sichuan Province, are concerned that the popularity of their region’s distinctive cuisine is dragging down its quality. Video produced by Jonah M. Kessel.

More:

“Sichuan Cuisine, Imperiled by Success,” Chris Buckley, New York Times

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American-Born Pandas Struggle In China

November 21, 2016

American-Born Pandas Struggle In China

Giant panda twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan were born and raised in Atlanta, but not as a birthright citizens, and at age three they were returned to China. But since they were raised as Americans, the pandas only understand English, and their new Sichuanese-speaking keepers are finding them difficult to handle. Panda researchers in China can recognize basic panda vocalizations, but the twins probably speak panda with a Georgia drawl.

Mei Lun and Mei Huan don’t like the local food, either. The cuisine at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Center is not up to the standards of Zoo Atlanta, where the beasts feasted on sugarcane, bananas, rice gruel, carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, and high-fiber panda biscuits, not just bamboo and steamed bread.

More:

“U.S.-born panda twins return to China, but struggle with the language and food,” Simon Denyer, Washington Post

“Zoo Atlanta Panda Twins Move to China, Don’t Care for Country’s Food and Can’t Understand Chinese,” Kelli Bender, People

“American-born pandas return to China, struggle with adapting to local language, food,” Alex Linder, Shanghaiist

“Returned giant panda twins prefer western lifestyle,” Xinhua, via Global Times

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Hong Kong Elections: Umbrella Protest Parties Win

September 12, 2016

Hong Kong Elections: Umbrella Protest Party Wins Big
In late 2014, despite the 1997 promise of local autonomy (“One Country, Two Systems”), China’s ruling party proposed new restrictive measures for Hong Kong elections. Hong Kong responded with 80 days of street demonstrations. Young protesters carried umbrellas to shield themselves from police pepper spray, and the movement became known as the Umbrella Revolution.

While authorities suppressed the pro-democracy street protests, the movement for local self-government continued. Last week, a record voter turnout elected six leaders of the Umbrella Movement to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and Macau. The next Hong Kong Chief Executive election is scheduled for March 26, 2017.

More:

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The East Is Red. Red Hot Peppers.

May 9, 2016

The East Is Red. Red Hot Peppers.

“The food of the true revolutionary is the red pepper. And he who cannot endure red peppers is also unable to fight.” – Mao Zedong (born and raised in Hunan Province, quoted by Otto Braun aka Li De 李德 ).

Read more:

“Why Revolutionaries Love Spicy Food: How the chili pepper got to China.”  Andrew Leonard, Nautilus

Related:

“Hot Peppers in China,” Yang Xuanzhang and Li Piao (translated by Nick Angiers), China Scenic

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Chinese Bulldozer Battle!

April 20, 2016

China’s economy is shrinking, and the construction industry accounts for one quarter of it, so things are getting quite competitive. That’s why a bunch of front loaders in Xingtang countyHebei Province, were duking it out last Saturday.

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Year of the Monkey

February 8, 2016

Year of the Monkey

Much of East Asia, 1/5 of the world’s people, started celebrating the Lunar New Year on Monday, February 8th, while it was still Superbowl Sunday in America — International Date Line and all that — so Yanks had better party hearty to catch up. Don’t forget to put crisp new bills or gift cards into red envelopes to give as, um, gifts to officials and other decision makers, and mind the taboos. The holiday period continues for another two weeks, until the Lantern Festival on February 22nd.

Dumplings, anyone?

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Image (“Year of the Monkey, after Wiktor Górka“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Let a Thousand Lattes Bloom

January 29, 2016

Let a Thousand Lattes Bloom
Walmart may be closing many US stores, but Starbucks is opening 500 new coffee shops in China every year for the next 5 years. Starbucks currently has 2000 shops located in 100 Chinese cities serving Green Tea LattesIced Shaken Blackcurrant Raspberry Juiced TeaMango Passion Fruit and Tea Blended Juice Drink, and Red Bean Green Tea Cheesecake. A latte costs about $6.

More:

“1 U.S. brand booming in China, in spite of economic woes,” Shuai Zhang, CBS News

“China’s Changing Tastes Offer Upside for Coffee,” Laurie Burkitt, Wall Street Journal

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Serve the People! KFC Will Spin Off Eateries in China.

January 2, 2016

Serve the People! KFC Will Spin Off Eateries in China.

Yum! Brands, parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell,  is spinning off Yum Brands in China as a separate publicly traded firm. Sales in China’s 4,600 KFCs have been tanking for the last 3 years in the wake of Avian Flu and food safety scares. Adding new menu items, a new mobile app, updated employee uniforms, and celebrity promotions by film biggies Chen Kun and Kē Zhèndōng haven’t helped much.

More:

“The company behind KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell just isolated the most dangerous part of its business,” Ashley Lutz, Business Insider

Update:

“China is no longer a complete nightmare for KFC,” Alison Griswold, Quartz

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Image (“Severe the People!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Auld Lang Syne

January 1, 2016

“Auld Lang Syne” performed in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium in 2009 by Lang LangSong Zuying, Plácido Domingo, and Jay Chou, with orchestral accompaniment arranged by Qian Yi. Robert Burns’ lyrics were translated by Deng Yingyi.

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China: Capitalism? You Wanted It, You Got It.

August 26, 2015

China: Capitalism? You Wanted It, You Got It

Update: “China’s stock market falls for the 5th straight day,”  Timothy B. Lee,Vox

“China’s stock market plunges for the fourth straight day,” Timothy B. Lee, Vox

“China 2015: beware the links with 1929,” Larry Elliott, The Guardian

“Why the Chinese slowdown everybody knew was coming is causing a freak-out,” Chico Harlan, Washington Post

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