Archive for the Xi’an Category

Protesters besiege Japanese embassy in Beijing [TVNZ.co.nz]

Posted in Beijing, China, Diaoyu Islands, Japan, Police, Xi'an on September 15, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

[Article has Reuters’ typical Western corpo-media anti-Chinese bias / editorializing, mostly in last section, which I’ve cut. Should be read with that in mind. Chosen as Xinhua / People’s Daily English haven’t published stories about this – Zuo Shou]

Sept. 15, 2012

(Reuters) Thousands of Chinese besieged the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Saturday, hurling rocks, eggs and bottles with protests reported in other major cities in China amid growing tension between Asia’s two biggest economies over a group of disputed islands.

Paramilitary police with shields and batons barricaded the embassy, holding back and occasionally fighting with slogan-chanting, flag-waving protesters who at times appeared to be trying to storm the building.

“Return our islands! Japanese devils get out!” some shouted. One of them held up a sign reading: “For the respect of the motherland, we must go to war with Japan.”

Protester Liu Gang, a migrant worker from the southern region of Guangxi, said: “We hate Japan. We’ve always hated Japan. Japan invaded China and killed a lot of Chinese. We will never forget.”

As tension escalated, and reports emerged of other protests around China, Japan said its foreign minister had cut short a visit to Australia and flown back to Tokyo.

The long-standing territorial dispute escalated dramatically on Friday when China sent six surveillance ships to a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, raising tension between the two countries to its highest level since 2010.

China was responding to Japan’s decision on Tuesday to buy the islands, which Tokyo calls the Senkaku and Beijing calls the Diaoyu, from a private Japanese owner [sic] despite Chinese warnings against doing so.

Sino-Japanese ties have long been plagued by China’s bitter memories of Japan’s military aggression in the 1930s and 1940s and present rivalry over resources and regional clout.

Relations between the two countries, whose business and trade ties have blossomed in recent years, chilled in 2010, after Japan arrested a Chinese trawler captain whose boat collided with Japanese Coast Guard vessels near the islands.In Shanghai, streets around the Japanese consulate, in the western part of town, were cordoned off on Saturday. Hundreds of police let small groups of people in at a time to protest.

Japanese media said big anti-Japan protests were also being held in the Chinese cities of Xian, Changsha, Nanjing and Suzhou, with some reports of violence as people attacked Japanese restaurants and businesses.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency said that the demonstrations were the biggest in China since the two countries normalised diplomatic relations in 1972.

Pictures on China’s popular Twitter-like Sina Weibo showed hundreds of protesters marching down a street in the southwestern city of Kunming with banners and Chinese flags. Users also reported protests in other, smaller cities…

There have been sporadic protests around China throughout the week, although those in Beijing had been small and largely peaceful…

Full article link here [caveat emptor]: http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/protesters-besiege-japanese-embassy-in-beijing-5084644

Rising enmity haunts China-Japan relations [People’s Daily]

Posted in Beijing, China, Diaoyu Islands, Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan, Shanghai, Shenyang, World War II, Xi'an on September 9, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

August 11, 2011

BEIJING – There has been a sharp drop in the number of people in China and Japan harboring feelings of friendship toward the other country following a year of often turbulent relations, according to a poll conducted simultaneously in both countries.

The findings of the survey, sponsored by China Daily and the Japanese non-profit think tank Genron NPO, were released on Thursday and suggest that the number of Chinese people who like Japan dropped from 38.3 percent in 2010 to 28.6 percent this year.

The drop has reversed a six-year trend characterized by increasingly favorable opinions among Chinese people toward Japan. In 2006, when the survey was launched, just 11.6 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Japan but this figure had risen uninterrupted up to 2010.

The poll, however, revealed a far less severe decline in favorable attitudes toward Japan among Chinese college students and young teachers in universities, with the rate dropping slightly from 45.2 percent to 43.1 percent.

Wu Yin, vice-president of Horizon Research Consultancy Group, which implemented the poll, attributed these findings to the fact that well-educated Chinese people are more likely to consider the full spectrum of China-Japan relations rather than be swayed by individual incidents.

“So the evaluation of Chinese students and teachers of Japan did not change much.”

But in Japan the number of so-called elites who like China dropped 10.8 percentage points to 40.6 percent this year, while the number of ordinary people with favorable opinions dropped 6.5 percentage points to 20.8 percent.

The poll, carried out at the same time in the two countries, was conducted from late June until early July. It has a margin of error of 1.45 percent.

Among the Chinese people polled were 1,540 citizens in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenyang and Xi’an, as well as 1,000 university students, studying for either a master’s or a doctor’s degree, and young teachers at five top Beijing universities.

In Japan 1,000 adults and 500 “intellectuals” with experience of China or Chinese people were interviewed. Seventy percent of the “intellectuals” had a bachelor’s degree while 22 percent held a master’s.

The reason cited most among Chinese people for their enmity toward Japan was its aggression in China before and during World War II (74.2 percent). Japan’s failure to fully atone for its aggression was cited most among students and teachers (86.1 percent).

It was not just turbulent relations that helped form opinions, events in Japan also played a part.

A sizeable proportion of Chinese people, 40.9 percent, and 27.2 percent of “intellectuals” said Tokyo’s mishandling of the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis after the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami contributed to unfavorable feelings toward Japan.

The result is in line with views among Japanese people of their government’s performance in the nuclear crisis and quake aftermath, with 81.7 percent of ordinary people and 92.8 percent of the so-called elites critical of their government’s response.

But Chinese people were impressed by the courageous and stoic attitude of Japanese people in maintaining social order following the March quake.

This factor contributed to 49.1 percent of Chinese citizens and 29.5 percent of “intellectuals” having favorable feelings toward Japan.

Sun Shangwu, assistant editor-in-chief of China Daily, presided over the news conference issuing the survey results and said the drop in favorable opinions by Chinese people toward Japan is due to Tokyo’s undue handling of the vessel collision and nuclear crisis.

The positive attitude that many Chinese adopted toward Japan after the country was liberated when former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi stepped down in 2006 no longer exists. “Now the turning point appears,” Sun said.

Koizumi ruined Japan’s ties with China by repeatedly visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead including Class-A war criminals.

Among the factors that make ordinary Japanese dislike China, the Chinese government’s handling of the vessel collision incident in 2010 received the most votes, with 64.6 percent.

The most popular answer from Japanese elites, in contrast, was that “China is self-centered” on resources and energy issues (71.9 percent).

Yasushi Kudo, head of Genron NPO, a Japanese think tank similar to the Council on Foreign Relations in the US, said Japanese people used to dislike China for historical reasons, then for food safety and now for territorial issues. “Though there are more people holding a negative attitude, the reasons have changed.”

He also said it was a pity that – although the Chinese government sent massive disaster relief materials and donations to Japan soon after the quake hit – many Japanese did not learn much about the aid efforts because most ordinary Japanese have no direct contact with China and instead learn about it through the media.

According to the poll, 54.5 percent of ordinary Chinese hold a positive attitude of current relations between Beijing and Tokyo, while the corresponding figure for intellectuals is 22.6 percent.

Forty-two percent of students and teachers declined to comment or said there were unsure, showing that a large group of well-educated people have taken a wait-and-see attitude toward the key relations.

The Japanese are much more negative when evaluating the relationship, with only 8.8 percent of civilians and 18.8 percent of the elites saying that it is good or relatively good.

The territory issue is the most popular reason for damaged relations in every group on both sides.

However, the downturn did not stop people in every group from attaching high importance to each other, as they did in polls in the past several years.

Intellectuals put more importance on each other, with 88.6 percent of Chinese students and teachers and 98 percent of Japanese elites supporting the statement.

More than half of both the two Japanese groups and ordinary Chinese people say the relations are as important as those of their own country’s relations with the United States, while 45.5 percent of Chinese intellectuals believe China’s ties with the US are more important.

On the prospect of China-Japan relations, a larger amount of ordinary Chinese people are optimistic (44.7 percent), while one-third of the intellectuals are positive and another one-third say they have to wait to observe.

The mostly popular answer among ordinary Japanese people on the question is that the relationship will remain the same as it did in the past year (33.2 percent), while the elites are more positive with 36.4 percent saying it will improve.

Li Wei, chief of the Institute for Japanese Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the Naoto Kan administration should shoulder most of the responsibility for frayed China-Japan relations.

“The Japanese government has bet too much on the US and deliberately revealed information hampering its relations with China.”

The survey is affiliated with the Beijing-Tokyo Forum, which will be held from August 20 to 22 in China’s capital.

The forum, co-sponsored by China Daily and Genron NPO, has been held alternately in Beijing and Tokyo since 2005. The annual gathering is one of the most significant platforms for public diplomacy between the two countries.

It will see nearly 300 leaders from the political, business, academic and media fields, including a slew of former ministers from both sides, take part in discussions focusing on “the Future of Asia and China-Japan Cooperation in Economic Reshaping”.

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/102774/7567481.html

“Japanese people’s performance in the earthquake aftermath won scores for their country, but did not stop the tendency,” he said.

“Duke of Edinburgh defends ‘slitty-eyed’ gaffe” – Chinese slurs from British Prince Philip [Telegraph]

Posted in China, U.K., Xi'an on July 11, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

*** The Duke of Edinburgh has defended the infamous “slitty-eyed” gaffe he made during a trip to China 25 years ago. ***

by Laura Roberts

June 29, 2011

*** Excerpted ***

While on an official visit to China in 1986 he told a group of British exchange students staying in the city of Xi’an: “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”

However, during a documentary to mark his 90th birthday, he still claims the resulting outcry was disproportionate.

He said: “I’d forgotten about it. But for one particular reporter who overheard it, it wouldn’t have come out. What’s more, the Chinese weren’t worried about it, so why should anyone else?”

The Duke has become renowned over the years for his risque comments…

…He told a 1986 meeting of the World Wildlife Fund: “If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”

The Duke [turned] 90 on June 10…

Full article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-philip/8544598/Duke-of-Edinburgh-defends-slitty-eyed-gaffe.html

China to make Xi’an major int’l port with free trade zone [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Xi'an on March 3, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 28, 2011

Reporters from the management committee of Xi’an International Port District indicated that the Xi’an Free Trade Zone was approved by the State Council on Feb. 27.

It is the only free trade zone in northwestern China.  These zones function as externals port and also provide bonded logistics and export processing.  International trade enjoys the most favorable terms in China’s free trade zones.

The Xi’an Comprehensive Free Trade Zone is located in Xi’an International Port District within an area of 6.17 square kilometers.  At the same time it will include a standard factory building with an area of 1.2 million square meters.

Zhou Fengqin, a commissioner with China’s customs bureau, said it will become the most important supporting platform in the international inland port after it is inspected and accepted by the state.  The free trade zone will help Xi’an to become a major international port city in the near future by reducing the number of intermediate links for the transportation of imports and exports and speeding up customs clearance.

By Zhang Qian, People’s Daily Online

Article link here

"Go west" broadens foreigners’ vision of China [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Japan, Premier Wen Jiabao, Shanghai, Tourism, Xi'an on March 1, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Feburary 27, 2011

In the past, western delegates were often led to ancient Chinese cities like Xi’an in northwestern Shaanxi Province or prosperous Shanghai. But now, many choose to visit the impoverished western region to learn about the "real China."

A group of young people from Europe arrived at Guiyang, capital of the mountainous southwestern Guizhou Province, on Thursday.  "During my first visit, I went to Shanghai for the 2010 Expo and felt that I was in a city like New York," said Peter Matjasic, president of the European Youth Forum.

"But when I arrived at Guizhou this time, I recognized that China has many areas in poverty," said the official from Slovenia.  "I am glad that now I know the real China."

During the three-day visit, Matjasic and the 100-plus-member team from 27 European countries visited the villages of the Miao ethnic minority and had exchanges with local youth.

"By choosing Guizhou as their destination, we showed another side of China to foreign visitors," said Li Fangming, head of the foreign affairs office under the Guizhou provincial government.

Li noted that the number of foreign delegates to Guizhou had been rising in recent years, though he did not specify a number.

Hu Jihong, president of the Youth Federation of Guizhou Province, said that he hoped the young visitors from Europe would not only see the glitzy side of China, but also its problems during their visit "so that they could understand China as a developing country in a more objective way."

Continue reading

Aiming for No 1 in welcoming the world – China shifts tourism strategy [People’s Daily]

Posted in Beijing, China, China Scenery, France, Guilin, Hangzhou, Japan, Martial Arts, Shanghai, Tourism, USA, Xi'an on February 24, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 20, 2011

China’s travel industry will shift focus from the country’s places to its people this year, according to a recent announcement by the China National Tourism Office (CNTO). "China Culture Tour 2011" is its theme this year and, "Travel to appreciate and experience Chinese culture" is its new slogan.

Responding to the call from the government body charged with promoting inbound tourism, travel companies have been scrambling to cultivate itineraries that go beyond visiting scenic areas to engaging the cultures that inhabit them.

China, which has long been Asia’s top destination, recently overtook Spain to become the world’s third most visited country, after the United States and France, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).  The UNWTO said last March that it expects the country to seize the top spot by 2015.

China received 134 million inbound tourists last year, a 5.8 percent year-on-year increase.  Tourism foreign exchange earnings reached $45.8 billion, a 15.5 percent increase over 2009, according to figures from the China National Tourism Administration, under which the CNTO operates.

Japan contributes the most tourists at 3.318 million last year.  While about 40 percent come on business, the number of culture-seekers is growing, Japan Tourism Marketing Co senior consultant Yoko Hayano says.

David Deng, marketing manager of Chinatravel.com, the website of China International Travel Service, Guilin Co, Ltd, says his company has developed more cultural options.

"Cultural travel experiences, such as learning kungfu, cooking and language … will be one of the most popular travel themes this year," he says.

China Odyssey Tours has piloted a cultural immersion project for foreign guests in Zhejiang’s provincial capital Hangzhou. The China Educational Tour fuses taiji martial arts and cooking classes with factory and school visits.

"Sightseeing is just one branch of travel.  Cultural experience is the root," the company’s promotions specialist Zhang Yuan says.

Zhang says that "traveling deeper" will be another hallmark of inbound travel this year. She explains this as going beyond the longstanding icons – Beijing, Shanghai, Shaanxi’s provincial capital Xi’an and the Guanxi Zhuang autonomous region’s Guilin city. Continue reading

Court action threat for Carrefour Foshan [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Dalian, Xi'an on January 18, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

January 7, 2011

Vendors at a Carrefour store that closed last week said they would talk with the retailer about compensation and threatened to bring the company to court if negotiations fail.

The Carrefour store in central Guangdong’s Foshan city closed for business on Jan 1, and the company refused to give compensation to most of the vendors in the store, according to Zhang Wenbo, director of the business development department of ShiGeFuKu Jewelry, a well-known jewelry company in Guangdong, which had just spent 600,000 yuan ($90,530) in decorating its branch at Carrefour Foshan.

“Although our contract with Carrefour has not expired yet, they refused to give any compensation to us. Our last attempt to reach consensus with Carrefour failed, but we will try to contact them again next week. If there is no progress, we will bring a suit against Carrefour, asking for a 900,000 yuan compensation,” said Zhang.

Carrefour representatives could not be reached for comments. However, Li Jia, public relations manager of Carrefour South China, was quoted by the Guangzhou-based Time-Weekly newspaper, as saying the store was closed because business was going downhill.

The Carrefour Foshan store officially opened on Feb 5, 2007. With a total area of about 22,300 square meters, the store was the biggest that Paris-headquartered Carrefour established in South China. The supermarket itself covered an area of 8,500 sq m while the rest of the space accommodated a number of other retail outlets.

A shop manager of the I’manfen underwear store in Carrefour Foshan said that sales of I’manfen in the Lotus Foshan store were about three times the sales of Carrefour Foshan. A shop assistant of ShiGeFuKu Jewelry in Carrefour Foshan said the sales there were no match for the sales in the Foshan Walmart.

Although vendors claimed business has always been slow in the Carrefour Foshan store, most shop owners were angry that the store closed during the new year holiday.

“With just one-month notice in advance, we have little time to find our next store. We have never come across such short notice before,” said a couple who sell clothes at the Carrefour Foshan store.

Sales for the period from New Year’s Day to the 15th day after the Lunar New Year’s Day can make up 20 to 30 percent of yearly sales, according to the shop assistant from ShiGeFuKu.

A shop manager of Jinggong Glasses at the Carrefour Foshan store said their losses for the period will be huge.

2010 was a turbulent year for Carrefour operations in China. A store in Dalian was closed in March and another was closed in Xi’an in July.

China Daily

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90778/90860/7253031.html