Archive for January, 2011

The 2011 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

January 7th, 2011 No comments

The 2011 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival has started in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province. It is an annual event of ice carving on a grand scale. Here is a nice slideshow from China Daily for this year. I’ve also found some from prior years; here is a great collection by R Todd King from 2009.

龙信明 BLOG: “China, Skype, and “The End of The World as we Know It””

January 6th, 2011 7 comments

On December 10, 2010, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology made a very brief announcement asking citizens to report illegal use of VOIP in China. This was further elaborated later by Deputy Minister of the MIIT, Xi Guohua, where the efforts were aimed at curbing fraudulent and swindling activities involving criminals using their PC’s to call regular telephones. PC to PC calls are not regulated. However, PC to Phone calls are, and China currently has given licenses to four operators on a pilot basis.

For over a week, the Western media reported a “ban” on the popular VOIP service, Skype. Well, actually, Skype is not even that popular in China. In the grander scheme of things, it is always about whether Western companies comply with Chinese laws or not. It is also about the Chinese government protecting her citizens from foreign governments and foreign corporations in our world of an inter-connected Internet. Following is an interesting and brief take from the 龙信明 BLOG:
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Categories: Analysis, media, News, technology Tags: ,

A changing China

January 6th, 2011 3 comments

Mr. Zhang

Occasionally I sift through photos taken by friends who had recently been to China. This is a portrait of Mr. Zhang taken by my friend Ming while in Shanghai. (The same friend whose Tiananmen photo I used in a previous post.) In his words, this is the story behind the image:
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Categories: culture, economy, General, Opinion Tags:

The Open CourseWare Consortium: Help Make Education Free

January 5th, 2011 2 comments

Project Hope is one of my favorite organizations, because it brings education to the rural poor of China. Education is the biggest social equalizer, unlocking opportunities to higher paying jobs for those who are otherwise destined for a life of destitution.

At a more macro level between nation states, education is a equalizer too. In that context, there is a equalizer movement that has emerged in the last ten years: the OpenCourseWareConsortium (OCW).

It first started in 1999 at MIT as a distance learning initiative lead by Computer Science professor Hal Abelson. The idea was to make MIT’s course materials available and free online to anyone around the world. By the start of the 2003 school year, MIT had published 500 course-wares through this initiative. As of today, almost all of MIT’s course materials are online, according to the university’s version of Open CourseWare. In 2005, MIT and other universities around the world banded together to form the Open CourseWare Consortium. (Wikipedia)
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“Fragrance of Jasmine (茉莉芬芳),” a GuZheng solo (古筝独奏)

January 4th, 2011 No comments

Below is another take on the “茉莉花” (“Jasmine Flower”) melody which I made a post about roughly a year ago. This time it is based on a solo on the GuZheng (古筝).

( version here)

Chinese scientists made breakthrough in nuclear technology increasing uranium efficiency 60 folds

January 3rd, 2011 6 comments

Chinese scientists made breakthrough at the No.404 Factory of China National Nuclear Corp in the Gobi desert in remote Gansu province, enabling the re-use of spent uranium and increasing the efficiency of nuclear fuel by 60 folds.  China’s existing supply of uranium throughout China was estimated to last for 70 years.  With this technology, China now forecasts the supply lasting 3,000 years.

This breakthrough obviously makes nuclear power a much more practical option, because the waste resulting from use is now dramatically reduced.
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Categories: economy, Environment, technology, trade Tags:

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence

January 1st, 2011 16 comments

After contemplating a while what to write for Day one of 2011, I thought it worthwhile to simply remind everyone what the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are.  They form the bedrock of Chinese foreign policy.  Chinese President Hu Jintao’s 2011 New Year’s address reaffirmed China’s adherence to them:

China will develop friendly cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and continue to actively participate in international cooperation on global issues, Hu said.

The Western public are likely unfamiliar with what they are or their significance. These principles were formulated in June of 1954 between former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and his counterparts, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, and U Nu of Myanmar. The countries had just re-emerged from the end of WW2.  The colonial powers had finally (by in large) left their occupied territories. The victims wanted a fairer world.

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