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All happy on the Wangfujing front

As I was strolling through Wangfujing today, I couldn’t help but recall reading the tense “crack downs” narrated in the Western media over a possible Jasmine Revolution in China. Honestly, I was hoping to snap a few shots of some BBC journalist lurking around, but they were nowhere to be seen. I suppose they have finally understood that China does not like them messing around.

Wangfujing was packed full of people. There were tour groups traveling from other parts of China. People were busy shopping, photographing each other, eating, and hanging out. The more I thought about it while being there, the more sinister I felt the Western journalists were there hoping for a Jasmine revolution.

(I took the photo above of a girl being photographed by her mother on a carriage. In fact, there was a line about 5 people deep waiting for their turns.)

As the taxi driver had told me while going from the new Beijing Capital Airport to my hotel, by in large, Chinese people see the country pressing forward, and even faster in Beijing given the 2008 Olympics! My last trip to Beijing itself was in 2005, and I can attest to the changes, including those in Wangfujing. The buildings (in the photo below) were torn down, and rebuilt prior to the Olympics.

The night market in Wangfujing is a permanent feature too. My trip was rewarded by a corn from there. Chewy and grilled to perfection. The Beijing government had the senses to keep the night market there, so they must be alright by me.

Wangfujing night market

  1. tc
    April 3rd, 2011 at 16:20 | #1

    “… I suppose they have finally understood that China does not like them messing around.” — This is funny, yinyang.

    BBC “journalists” are so “superior” that they know “human rights” so well and backward Chinese don’t know anything about it. Plus, they care about Chinese wellbeing so much that they have to be around somewhere near WangFuJing with camera ready.

    Poor Chinese, we will not go anywhere. We are your Savior. Go ask XiaoBo, if you have any doubt.

  2. Charles Liu
    April 3rd, 2011 at 22:10 | #2

    Maybe Chomski should update his “humanitarian imperialism” thesis.

  3. W. Tseng
    April 3rd, 2011 at 23:29 | #3

    The picture of the grilled corn cob reminds me of a trip I made through Kolkuta or Calcutta India. There they rub lemon + salt & red pepper on to the grilled corn. It’s not only deliciously chewy but you get all the tastes in as well – sweet/sour/salty/spicy & smokey. Out of this world.

  4. Dr Yes
    April 4th, 2011 at 06:12 | #4

    But wait: what would Jackie Kennedy say about that?

  5. Dr Yes
    April 4th, 2011 at 06:13 | #5
  6. Charles Liu
    April 4th, 2011 at 10:28 | #6

    Any pictures of the McDonald corner? Seriousely is anything happening with the Jasmine Revolution?

    Read the Jasmine Revolution manifesto, the plan (well, the template from Albert Einstein Institute) is to esclate to major disturbances rendering society unable to function, then setup transitional government overseas.

    BTW if anyone pulls this in US they’s be arrested on national security charge too.

  7. April 4th, 2011 at 15:36 | #7

    If you look at the statue’s right eye, you will see half of the McDonald’s golden arch logo in the back. But I am guessing that’s not the same McDonalds. I’ll snap some photos when I am at the McDonalds in question. But I’d be a bit nervous, because I think Chinese security are probably camping out there for sure. Imagine using a 70-200mm big lens to photo the White house. I’d bet the first thing that might happen when you do that is you get knocked unconscious by secret service; camera and lens taken apart completely; then interrogated and tossed unto a street.


    Sounds yummy! I’ll definitely want to try that some day.

    @Dr Yes

    Youtube is blocked inside China. Hope to watch it after I return to the U.S..

  8. Smalltalks
    April 4th, 2011 at 15:38 | #8

    Hi, yinyang,

    Are you in Beijing now? Good for you.

    A sideline topic here.

    Ai Weiwei is detained by Chinese authority. What do you think about what is happening now?

  9. April 4th, 2011 at 17:02 | #9


    Hello from China. Yes, I am traveling on vacation. I am down in Guilin now, but will be back to Beijing in about a week.

    On Ai Weiwei, we have a draft post based on materials Charles sent me. It’s been sitting there waiting for a major news to break on him.

    My suspicion is that he will get himself into more and more trouble with Western ‘activists’ and journalists trying to play him. He seems to like the attention.

    On his push to get the missing or dead children listed publicly from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, I felt he was too confrontational. His aims when confounded with Western ‘activists’ and journalist is really to cast a very negative light on the Chinese government.

    If Ai Weiwei is more of a “team player” he had simply work within the new 2008 transparency laws and work with other people within China towards getting transparency. He would get huge support for it.

    But when colluding with these so called ‘activists,’ it is done for other aims. People not familiar with him won’t realize that like Liu Xiaobo, he is also anti-government. And it’s not hard to find materials on him – they are all over the place.

  10. Charles Liu
  11. smalltalks
    April 4th, 2011 at 23:16 | #11

    I did some research on the internet. I think the problem between him and the Chinese authority is about the Wenchuan earthquake. Where Ai Weiwei thinks it was the government should be blamed for some many students death. But the authority thinks the collapse of the school building was caused by the powerful earthquake. And one of the youtube mentioned that he has a plan to design an exhibition in Germany to show his new work for the Chinese young student and the government.

    Personally opinion, China’s building was not designed to sustain 8 magnitude earthquake. In most places, it can sustain 6, 7 magnitude. For the school building where there are less poles holding roof, if it is not built by using special material, it is easier to collapse in quake. I think the building code and design should be amended for schools and hispitals in China and for the existing building, if necessary, they should be reinforced. It is really hard to blame the government for lack of supervision on it. It is better to listen to advices from earthquake expert and building construction experts opinion before throwing the stones on authority.

    But, from all the videos I watched, he seems like to confront the authority, he seems like to get attention by western media. I think what he is doing, overall is good to Chinese people. But, personally observation, it is not wise to overthrow a government. Most people still have faith in this government. It is not time to sacrifice. And, there are too many evidences on internet and his blog, according to the China’s law(whatever, it is the law in China), he may get himself in deep trouble sooner or later.

    Yes. Most people are shortsighted, they usually balance the cost to take and result they can get. For this case, if he can co-operate with the government and setup new laws, that would be great. But, the result is confrontation.

    It is just my guessing. We have to see what is

  12. Charles Liu
    April 5th, 2011 at 02:00 | #12


    Building age and quake-proofness was something we talked about back then as well:


  13. Charles Liu
    April 11th, 2011 at 02:21 | #13

    another Sunday went by, any protests? I think this thing is dead.

  14. Charles Liu
    May 9th, 2011 at 00:49 | #14

    another sunday cam and went, anything happened? Can we say Jasmine revolution is dead?

  15. May 9th, 2011 at 05:59 | #15

    Jasmine revolution is still alive, in the Middle East.

    But Revolutions are like plants, they do not necessarily do well in foreign soils.

    Or sometimes, lacking natural predators in foreign lands, they grow out beyond the intent of the original, spreading uncontrollably like weeds. (For one example, the Russian import of Marxism Communism ideology sparked a revolution that grew beyond any thing Marx could have imagined).

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