Archive for July, 2011

China Bullet Train Crash, and the organic nature of public relations

July 30th, 2011 48 comments

PR, as in public relations, is an art. Over the last few days I have been watching Wang Yongping (王勇平) addressing the Chinese press on the bullet train crash. On one hand, I feel bad for him, for he was genuinely trying to relay facts. On the other hand, I thought he really bungled on certain issues which created controversies that shouldn’t have been in the first place. For example, his ‘I believe it’ comment on the burying of D301’s head should instead simply be that was what he was told and he would find out more. It indeed turned out to be a safety and rescue consideration. Since the rescue team would have details of the circumstances, his job should have been to set expectations and get the press to wait, not speculate, until details emerged.

I put the below diagram together because I think social media is ever more important, and false information in it has to be cleaned in order to let truthful and helpful information propagate. Read more…

The ONLY Previous Lightning Damaged Train Signaling System, UK August 2006

July 29th, 2011 9 comments

Here is one incident in York, UK that’s actually very similar to the HSR collision in China, the lightning also knocked out the signaling system in the train station, but fortunately, no collisions.

HH has the scoop on this.

Read more…

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China bullet train fake news and false rumors exposed

July 28th, 2011 6 comments

Roland Song has done a number of much needed translations of false rumors and fake news surrounding the Wenzhou train crash. It is a must read.

I was in particular looking into information related to the two year old girl who was found. A panelist on CCTV criticized the Ministry of Rail for declaring rescue over and the girl being found afterwards. Roland translates the first account of police captain Shao Yerong (from CCTV) on rescuing the girl. Follow above link for details.

The Colbert Report, “Norwegian Muslish Guman’s Islam-Esque Atrocity”

July 28th, 2011 6 comments

A mentally retarded journalist, take 2

July 28th, 2011 23 comments

(Bad journalism on the left. Right column are Allen and my commentary on why. Fortunately, not all Brits are like this.) Read more…

Wenzhou South Railway station signaling system failure was root-cause of D301 and D3115 crash

July 27th, 2011 7 comments

Flaws in railway signal system lead to fatal collision: railway authorities

WENZHOU, July 28 (Xinhua) — Design flaws in railway signal equipment led to Saturday’s fatal high-speed train collision near Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province, the Shanghai Railway Bureau said on Thursday.

Having been struck by lightning, the signal system at Wenzhou South Railway Station failed to turn the green light to red, which caused the rear-end collision, said An Lusheng, head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau, at an investigation meeting held by the State Council in Wenzhou on Thursday.
Read more…

A mentally retarded journalist

July 27th, 2011 26 comments

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chinese people complained too. You would just need to be able to read Chinese to see it. Doing so didn’t land them in jail as this Brit (I presume) claims in this piece, “London Games will outdo Beijing because of freedom.” Breaking Chinese law does. In referring to the 2012 London Olympics, and apparently feeling inadequate, this retarded journalist says:

But these will still be better Olympics — in some ways, they already are — because London has the key ingredient that Beijing sorely lacked to host truly soul-searing games: freedom.

Let’s not forget. U.K. is bombing Libya to “protect Libyans.” This author apparently have no idea what freedom from bombs mean. I truly wish for a successful London 2012. Using ‘freedom’ to fill your feelings of inadequacy? It’s like saying my penis doesn’t work, but I have a convertible made in the heavens. And, by the way, that heavenly convertible has a habit of running over people.

Categories: Opinion Tags: ,

CCTV panel criticizing government handling of D301 and D3115 crash

July 27th, 2011 15 comments

I have been following the development of the D301 and D3115 bullet train crash in Wenzhou. Following segment is from CCTV of a panel criticizing how the Chinese government has handled the rescue and investigation so far. The burying of train D301’s head really doesn’t make sense. The panel raises quite a few issues and I can see the Ministry of Rail having a daunting task ahead in addressing these questions. It is not just the accident itself, but also the activities immediately follows will be scrutinized by the Chinese media. (Update: my translation below the video. Click ‘more.’ This is not a word for word translation, but my first pass at it. I am open to corrections. My vocabulary is not great, and since this is audio, I can’t use a dictionary. I believe the two panelists represent the present mood of the populace.)

Read more…

On Chinese Language Dialects and Chinese People

July 26th, 2011 101 comments

I would have to say the movement of the “Han people” is very complex. Most casual observers would think that the Mandarin version of Chinese language is the most “proper” version. In fact, it is the most modern version with the Beijing dialect heavily influenced by the Man language. Both the Minanese and Cantonese would claim their “version” as the most original Chinese. Scholars are still debating whether Minanese or Cantonese are the older form of Chinese or which is the Shang or Zhou version.

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【每日歌曲 720HD】”寒江雪” by 储兰兰 and 郑源

July 25th, 2011 3 comments

Some poetry buffs may want to offer a translation for the following song. My take is it is about ‘departure’ between a couple. The mood of it might resonate with some of you, perhaps over those who departed in the recent train crash and bus accident. The song is neat in combining modern pop and traditional Chinese opera. I have always appreciated Chinese artists who bridges the past with the new, linking the older generation with the young. (Another example here.)

( version)
Read more…

Categories: culture, music, video Tags: , ,

Glenn Greenwald on Western media coverage of Oslo, ‘terrorism’ is not when the perp is White

July 25th, 2011 19 comments

[Update: Please see Wukailong remarks in the comments section. He is correct, and my fault for lumping Norwegian media into this supposed ‘Western’ media madness on this particular issue. To their credit, they are reporting the Oslo shooting and bombing as ‘terrorist’ acts.]

In looking at the New York Times coverage of the Oslo bombing and shooting, Glenn Greenwald sees ongoing pattern of attributing terrorism only to Muslims and not acts committed by the White. As I have written here about a year ago – “Harvard University study catches major U.S. media pants down – systematic reporting of U.S. waterboarding as not torture,” this sort of behavior is nothing new. Some may argue there is no conspiracy by the Western media for this sort of thing. Probably not. I often like to ask back – do racists need to conspire to commit racism? I don’t think so. Their public display emboldens each other for sure. Greenwald’s analysis below: Read more…

CCTV reports D301’s blackbox recovered

July 25th, 2011 162 comments

Ministry of Rail spokesperson Wang Yongping bows to passengers at press conference (Xinhua)

The Chinese media has been pressing for information relating to why didn’t the D301 train stop in time and instead rear-ended the D3115. In the latest press conference over the collision, Ministry of Rail spokesperson Wang Yongping (王勇平) informed the press that the ‘blackbox’ for the D301 train has been recovered and experts are investigating the cause of the crash. So far, 38 people were confirmed dead with more than 200 injured.

CCTV has also reported the repairs to the rail road is done and rail traffic has resumed.

A passenger sent the first SOS micro-blog message through Sina’s Weibo (username Yangjuan Quanyang) at 8:47pm at the time of the accident and was soon forwarded 112,000 times. Her initial message said: Read more…

A Chinese not worthy of Nobel Prize

July 24th, 2011 23 comments

I remember China launched an ad campaign on Time Square a while back. Other than the well known astronaut, actor, athlete,  there is one person that stood out but I doubt anybody knew him at all. His name is Yuan Longping and he is the father of hybrid rice. Here’s some of his contribution.

Read more…

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Bullet trains D301 and D3115 crash in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province

July 24th, 2011 38 comments

A high-speed train (D301) lost drive due to lightning and while stopped, was rammed behind by another high-speed train, D3115. This took place Saturday in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. China Daily’s full coverage below: Read more…

Eric X. Li’s “Counterpoint” Op-Ed in the New York Times – Debunking Myths About China

July 22nd, 2011 43 comments

Eric X. Li had a wonderful op-ed in the NY Times.  I really don’t know how he got a piece through, especially since all mine have been rejected. Anyways, hats off to him!  Here is his op-ed, with some of my thoughts scribbled throughout. Read more…

Reader cp on China and the West

July 21st, 2011 6 comments

Lately, we have focused on propaganda in the Western media. Reader cp made (what I think) are very measured and accurate characterizations of what is happening around us. It is short and to the point, and I simply want to highlight it. As many here have argued in the past, these type of issues need to be discussed in the public. Comedians bring awareness to social issues through satire. Mark Twain challenge prevailing racist attitudes through his novel, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Though this blog may sound ‘serious,’ we feel it is critically important for everyone to wake up and recognize the nature of Western capitalistic media. This is not about choosing sides. Rather, it is about not letting ourselves to be further polarized. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, Opinion Tags: ,

Short Analogy of the Day on Democracy and Speech

July 21st, 2011 4 comments

Sarcasm intended to add to realism of the Analogy:

Speech, human communication, written or verbal, is like p*ssing.  It is a biological necessity, we all have to do it sometimes.

Done occasionally with “self-control”, you ensure that you don’t soil yourself.

And done properly, the byproduct can be useful, for purpose of fertilizing and growing ideas and knowledge for human consumption.

But “Democracy” has become a P*ssing Contest, where the contest rules encourage people to P*ss on others, within a country, and toward other countries.

Naturally, while the rules are unsaid on the point, human beings by instinct rather P*ss on someone else’s backyard than their own, for obvious reasons.

For some, it may also be clear that P*ssing on other human beings, is rude and unproductive.  Human beings cannot be fertilized by P*ss.  It only makes people angry.

But for others, the proponents/promoters of the P*ssing Contest, it has become a profitable game show, with trademarks.

Like all gameshows, however, there will be a time when the show gets dull, and the smell accumulates.

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Baidu China Launches Its Own Browser!

July 20th, 2011 1 comment
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How China is Dealing with the US Bubble Economy

July 20th, 2011 6 comments

China tells US to get debt under control.  If US could take a hint, its politicians should imagine a scenario, where Chinese financial inspectors come to US banks and US government to inspect/audit the accuracy of the books, much like US inspectors inspect Chinese made products for lead in Chinese factories.

Crazy?  Why not?  China is now a $1.5 Trillion investor in the US economy and currency, and is facing potential losses on bad management and indeed some confidence rigging in the US economy.

Read more…

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China Sets to be #1 in Deep Sea Exploration

July 20th, 2011 1 comment

China sent exploration ship Jiaolong to the Pacific, to test diving depth.  (And signally potential to go after the newly discovered rare earth deposit).

Read more…

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(Letter from Pahit Manis) Dave and Hillary blink on human rights

July 20th, 2011 14 comments

(This came via email from a reader in Malaysia.)
July 18, 2011

By Pahit Manis

In a telling sign that human rights are not always a non-negotiable component of democracy – but more of a political weapon (now currently being used against Libya) and a bargaining chip for advantage – Britain’s Prime Minister maintained a deafening silence against the abuses of cherished Western ideals by his Malaysian counterpart just before Najib Razak’s recent official visit.
Read more…

Propaganda? NPR reports, “Dalai Lama Wanted ‘To Show An Old Friend’s Face'”

July 19th, 2011 57 comments

The Dalai Lama recently met with U.S. President Obama and news of it made headlines both in China and in the West.  I want to first address this point made by some that China shouldn’t make a big deal out of this meeting, because after all, China recently met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the U.S. made no objections.  That is a faulty comparison, because the Dalai Lama is likely visiting the U.S. to secure his annual funding for the TGIE, and in contrast, al-Bashir is not trying to split off any portion of the U.S.. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, News, Opinion Tags: ,

Attacked in Taiwan?

July 18th, 2011 10 comments

In Oct 2008, while visiting a Confucius temple in Taiwan,  Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing (张铭清) of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait was shoved around and pushed down. However, I would like to point out that he is also the Dean of the school of journalism of the University of Xiamen and is on a scholarly visit with no official function. After he managed to get into the car, an overzealous attacker even climbed on the roof of the car and jumped up and down. If one want to guess what the cultural revolution looked like, this should be pretty close.
Here’s a video of the incident. You be the judge.

Read more…

Categories: News, politics Tags:

perspectivehere chimes in on “anti-China propaganda”

July 17th, 2011 62 comments

I have recently posted a number of side-by-side comparisons showing how propagandistic articles (here and here) look like in the U.S. media. These are not mere instances, as I have shown here, based on a study by the PEW Research Center for Excellence in Journalism which systematically looked at coverage of China in the last few years and concluded only few topics dominated in the U.S. media and with negativity. I discussed how horribly those topics were reported with bias and distortion; and yes, I used the word ‘propaganda’ to describe.

In discussion, C.Custer of China Geeks countered (his full comment here) and said:

“It’s important to remember that it’s not the media’s job to help people understand China, it’s their job to REPORT THE NEWS.”

perspectivehere left a couple of very insightful responses which I have decided to highlight and include below. (Some formatting for better readability and highlighting of perspectivehere’s concluding remarks are done by me.) Read more…

Categories: Analysis Tags: ,

Ever heard of Justin Yifu Lin?

July 15th, 2011 2 comments

Most people probably don’t know him but I believe he is one of the most influential people from Taiwan. Here is a World Policy Institute interview of Justin Yifu Lin, the current Senior Vice President of World Bank. He was appointed on 2008.  On another note Zhu Min was appointed deputy managing director at IMF. Read more…

Russia Today: Sending arms to Libyan rebels is illegal, Western media falsifying reporting

July 15th, 2011 5 comments

Russia Today interviews Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, a researcher at Center for Research for Globalization, about the illegal arming of Libyan rebels. Nazemroaya also tells first hand account of Reuters reporter lying about meeting rebel leaders to give false impression of support by the population in Tripoli.

The New/Old Western Religion of Politics

July 14th, 2011 11 comments

In this article,, Aaron Friedberg argues essentially, US and China are destined to be hostile to one another because of their differing political ideologies.

That argument is often used in the Western perspective.  However, it deserves a 2nd look and rethink.

Read more…

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Some thoughts at 100k

July 14th, 2011 35 comments

No. of visitors as of July 13, 2011

We are about to pass the 100k ‘visitors’ (metric is not exact science, and I actually suspect it should be ‘visits’) mark soon, though the map doesn’t count our RSS readers traffic.

(We are also moving onto a bigger server, so please bear with the recent sluggishness for just a little while longer. There are 950+ articles and 36k+ comments on the blog.)

Allen and I started Hidden Harmonies back in February 2010, and in a way, out of wanting to continue a legacy started by Buxi. Our About page has more details. With this occasion, I would like to repeat what Buxi said in this May 2008 self introduction (yes, Hidden Harmonies has most of the posts all the way back): Read more…

Categories: Announcements Tags:

Zero tolerance for concealing major accidents

July 14th, 2011 2 comments

People’s Daily recently published an Op-Ed by He Yong (h/t to Sweet & Sour Socialism), titled, “China needs zero tolerance for concealing major accidents.” The original was published in Chinese and subsequently translated into English by the People’s Daily Online.

If all facts are true, then I agree with He completely. In recent years, there have been a number of oil spills and pollution incidents in China. In the June 4 oil spill at Penglai 19-3 (where CNOOC partly owns), He Yong said that “CNOOC hid the truth from the media and the public and deleted Internet posts that exposed the accident.” The whole story came to light only after the State Oceanic Administration released an investigative report 31 days later. Read more…

Categories: News, Opinion Tags: , ,

Tibetan vs. First Nations

July 12th, 2011 142 comments

(YinYang: This came via a reader, Ray, self-described as “overseas Chinese who currently resides in Toronto, Canada born in the 1970s in Malaysia. The piece below is timely as the Dalai Lama was recently on a trip to the U.S. as a ‘spiritual leader.’ By the way, he recently supposedly stepped down as a political leader. I thought it ironic he goes straight for Capitol Hill and meets House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.)

Most average American/Canadian do not know that the majority of the Tibetan Chinese do not live in Tibet proper. The majority of Tibetan Chinese live in Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, Yunan etc. This should give a better picture of the story. If one considers the first Tibetan Buddhist temple as the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa and study all the building dates of subsequent Tibetan Buddhist temples, the movement is from West to East of China. If you go back in history, it is the Tibetan King Songtsän Gampo who invaded Tang and demanded a princess in marriage not the other way. Eventually, a Tibetan king even sacked Xian, the capital of Tang. So in essence Tibet became part of China because of invasion by the Tibetan not the other way round. And similar to the Anglo-Saxon or Norman conquest, Tibetan became Chinese through their invasion.

To compare the Tibetan to the First Nations who was completely decimated in culture, language and religion by European settlers is incorrect. Read more…

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