Teach Chinese How to Behave

October 3, 2006 at 2:27 pm (China, society)

From CDT Post


China, a country with five-thousand-year civilized history, is teaching its citizens how to behave. Two administrations issued two regulations demanding Chinese to pay attention to everyday etiquette and hygiene while travel abroad and within the country.

According to Xinhua, the Civilization Office with the Spiritual Civilization Steering Committee and the National Tourism Administration jointly issued an etiquette guide, asking Chinese traveling abroad not to litter, not to talk loudly, to respect queuing rules, be polite in public places, and observe the rule of “ladies first”.

Domestic travelers were asked not smoking in no-smoking areas, not talking loudly, not trampling on the grass, always wearing a shirt in public places and respecting the customs of religious and ethnic minorities.

Xinhua said uncivilized behavior is becoming a real embarrassment for China.

Click HERE to read Xinhua’s report (English)

Click HERE to read two rules.


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Don’t Insult our Sanity, Xinhua

September 25, 2006 at 5:49 am (China, society)

I had decided to stay away from discussing Xinhua for two reasons: first, two many people have been rebuking Xinhua so that my voice will be redundant; second, no matter how severely we criticize Xinhua, Xinhua won’t change itself.

But I have to say something today when it turns out Xinhua is not only a rogue, but is a cowardly rogue. After did something filthy, it even has no courage to acknowledge its misbehavior. For a society as a whole, I would rather see a brave rogue than a pusillanimous scoundrel. Besides, an audacious villain is at least more lovely than a timid one.

A few days ago, Xinhua banned foreign financial news agencies, such as Bloomberg and Reuters, from directly serving their customers in China. Xinhua named itself as the only legal intermediary between foreign agencies and Chinese customers.

It’s common that whenever Chinese government wants to do something, it always cites two reasons, one ostensible reason for the public and one genuine reason for itself, and it’s obvious that what Xinhua really covets is the lucrative financial information service business, rather than as it claimed maintaining news order.

Xinhua is a government monopoly, and like all other monopoly, it will enlarge its own profit relentlessly with no consideration of the rest of the market. This inherent characteristic makes it no news that Xinhua will reach its hands to all profits, using non-marketing means. That’s why I am not surprised when it outlawed Bloomberg’s business.

But what happened later really piss us off. Facing the international reprimand, Xinhua updated its ostensive reason as tax evasions. Several points emerged from this allegation. First, as a news provider or even as a news supervisor, Xinhua is not the correct one to judge the tax issue. Second, banning direct business is hardly a justifiable way to punish a tax evasion. If someone evades tax, simply order them make up for the balance, or more severely, simply fine the unruly companies or kick them out of the country. What the hell does a forbiddance of direct business have anything to do with tax evasions?

Getting desperate, Xinhua today published a story vindicating itself. The story made an even more audacious lie and finally justified Xinhua as a gutless rogue. It goes: “Internet users resolutely support Xinhua’s management measures for news and information dissemination by foreign news agencies within China.”

Give me a break. Who are the so-called Internet users resolutely supporting your decision? Is there really someone insane? How come we Internet users never saw any of your “supporters”? Xinhua of course failed to name even a single “supporter” in the story.

Come on Xinhua, be brave, there is nothing wrong that you use some stupid excuses to claim the market share. We all know your are a monopoly and we can kindly tolerate your dictatorship. But don’t insult our sanity by fooling us that “Internet users resolutely support” your measures. Besides, who believes?

(Read Xinhua ignores critics of new media rules from FT)

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The Self-Narrative of a Motorcycle Driver

September 25, 2006 at 4:10 am (China, society)

From my CDT blog

A two-month old blog attracted more than 150,000 clicks and over 3,000 comments. Its daily visitors reached as many as 5,000. This is not a blog about sex or private lives. It’s about social problems, economic reforms and bureaucracy, and it’s written by a motorcycle taxi driver who never went to college, and whose business is illegal in China.

Chen Hong calls himself “Changshao Rogue” in his blog. Living in Changsha, Hunan Province, Chen was laid off ten years ago. He tried everything and ended up driving a motorcycle to make a living.

In one of his blog posts, “a self-narrative of a motorcycle driver,” he said:

For dozens of years all our labor and efforts only ended up helping a group of the social elite… And we end up as elements of disharmony in a “harmonious society”–the illegal motorcycle drivers. I don’t intentionally violate laws. I became a motorcycle driver because I was starving. Some said a harmonious society ensures the right of every member. But to those who lost their jobs and means to earn a living, what else can they do except drive a motorcycle?

Someone identifying themselves as “Guo Feng, a graduate student from People’s University” replied to this post:

I don’t agree with you. The country and the government are not obligated to take care of our generation for our whole lives. We once stood at the same starting point. Some get rich, some get left behind. We should responsibility for ourselves. Motorcycles are not supposed to be used to carry passengers. You put our lives in danger by riding a motorcycle to make money. The society can’t change itself. You must adapt to the society.

The two argued back and forth. Most blog readers stand on Chen’s side. Later on, Chen was even threatened for his post on social inequality.

Click here to read a news story about the debate. See Chen’s post, a self-narrative of a motorcycle driver, and his blog “Changsha Rogue

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