Video: Chinese Soldier Almost Kills Himself With Grenade, Saved by Instructor

A video has been circulating on Youku, a Chinese video sharing site similar to YouTube, and has been viewed over 1 million times. The video shows a trainee PLA soldier being instructed in the art of hand-grenade throwing, yet the trainee still hasn’t quite mastered the technique. He manages to throw the grenade only a few feet away from him and his instructor. When he tries to take cover, he lies down in close proximity to the impending explosion. Luckily the trainee is saved by his instructor who pulls him to safety in a ditch a split second before the grenade detonates.

Video on Youku:
http://player.youku.com/player.php/sid/XMzM1NTUyNjQ4/v.swf
May be removed by censors

Copy on YouTube:

Translations of Comments from Youku:

“That instructor is impressive, pay attention at 00:26 secs, the instructor forcefully pulls him down and saves his life.”

“Students at military universities are all attracted by the high tech weapons. What soldiers now have the strength of those in the past? They are all university soldiers! They hold pens!”

“The trainee soldier lay on his belly perfectly, I laugh every time (I watch it).”

“Reason for the accident: the trainee was nervous, he feared the grenade would detonate early, under this nervous situation his grip loosened, which affected the direction and strength of his throw.”

“When he goes back (to barracks) he will definitely be kicked in the butt!”

“This isn’t about technique, it is about intelligence. If it was a real war, how many comrades would have died in his hands? I suspect he is a spy sent by the enemy.”

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CCTV Does Not Play Well with Others

Chinese State Television Launches on Washington, DC Cable

This October 1st, on the 62nd anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s takeover of China, China Central Television launched a new cable channel in Washington, DC metro area on MHz Networks 3. CCTV is state-run media ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.  For at least a decade CCTV has had the ambition to have its programming shown in the United States.

We asked China expert Ethan Gutmann, Adjunct Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and author of Losing the New China: A Story of American Commerce, Desire and Betrayal about the possible ramifications of CCTV’s presence in the United States and the possible motives for the launch.

Nationalism & Propaganda

ETHAN GUTMANN:

It’s half a prestige issue and half a propaganda issue. One is to influence the Chinese American population, the Chinese Diaspora, within America. The second is to try to influence Americans so they see China as equal and non-threatening.

I’ve never been able to understand exactly why they are so obsessed with competing with America. If you go to China, people spend a lot of time and mental energy thinking about how competitive China is with America—if China is weaker than America, if Americans look down on China, etc. These are huge issues in China.

It’s part of China’s nationalism. Marxism philosophy has been replaced by nationalism since the last days of Deng Xiaoping. And the strongest aspect of Chinese nationalism is to be number one. And this requires being as strong as America, if not stronger.

A way for the Chinese Regime to Boost Nationalism

The other aspect is to make inroads among Chinese Americans. The racial ties of Chinese are  emphasized in Chinese nationalism. They believe that even if somebody moves to another country, even if they have grown up not speaking Chinese—if they have Chinese blood, they are in some sense Chinese citizens and they should be loyal to the Chinese state.

“The Big Underpants” CCTV Headquarters

Threats to Freedom of Expression? How will this CCTV channel influence Chinese Americans?

I don’t find freedom of expression threatening. Let the market decide. What I’m more concerned about is that—I assume—they are part of some cable bundle. And if, let’s say, NTD Television tried to get on that same cable bundle, they would be turned down because it would be seen as a conflict with CCTV.

The big problem with the Chinese government—the Chinese Communist Party—is that they want to be in the Western system but they don’t respect it. They don’t respect the fact that we have a system of free expression. They never accept that. They are still not willing to play by those rules—at a level playing field. If they want their ideas to be out there, if they want to use soft power, then they have to play by the soft power rules, where the best and the most entertaining ideas win—very true for TV. It’s not just politics. It has to be generally entertaining.  CCTV doesn’t tend to be terribly entertaining  because it’s a propaganda station. And, in the final analysis, it’s not allowed to touch many topics, and if it does, it has to touch on them very carefully to the point where it interferes with artistic expression, or any kind of expression.

We know that within China this happens again and again.  If Disney wants to do a film and it’s about Tibet, then suddenly Disney has a big problem. And we don’t know how they are going to do in the American market.  So far the track record is very bad.

And there are going to be critical shows—shows that are critical of the Chinese state—that are going to examine [Chinese] history. There’s going to be things that they [CCTV] are not comfortable with and I suspect that they are going to start throwing their weight around. They are going to start putting pressure on these cable channels—creating a fuss. And that’s going to be a problem. That’s my guess—that it’s not going to end well.

Doesn’t it also involve the cable companies?

I don’t think the cable companies are used to this. Al Jazeera, for example, as far as I know, doesn’t insist that you can’t show pro-Israel things on the same cable bundle—because Al Jazeera may have a point of view, but it is not controlled by a government and they are not under the Communist Party. And CCTV is. I don’t think cable networks are very good about making the distinction between something which is foreign and has a different point of view, on the one hand, and something that is controlled by a single party state, on the other. They are two different things, like apples and oranges—well, more like apples and rocks. And I wonder if they are in for a surprise. The Chinese have spent so much time and effort trying to shut down NTD Television. They have a track record on this.  There is a precedent for concern.

But I strongly feel from another point of view that saying ‘CCTV has a biased point of view’—that is true, but it is not a reason to keep them off the air. We don’t feel it threatens our way of life, nor do I feel that the Chinese community is threatened by CCTV directly. But it’s the question of balance.

Let’s say NTD Television is getting very popular but can’t get on the same cable bundle.  It’s going to be very hard to prove a negative here—to prove that CCTV played the role in preventing that deal from coming through. I wonder if anybody has considered this—that CCTV is not going to sit there quietly,  comfortable with a lot of the other things that are shown on the same cable bundle.

I think they see this as a beachhead—not the conquest of the United States, but conquering a small part of the consciousness of the United States with soft power. There’s a foolish idea in the West that Marxists and the Communist Party do not understand persuasive techniques. That’s exactly what they understand. It’s not just about the gun. It’s about persuasion, and fear and mind control. These are the techniques that they use. Self-correcting mechanisms and self-censorship is a critical part of it. And part of this beachhead is based on the concept of self-censorship.

I don’t believe that it’s a travesty that CCTV will be on in America. My worry is that it will have a dampening effect on freedom of expression about China in this corner, maybe it’s a particular corner but it’s a start—that’s a legitimate fear.

The problem is that they are not looking at this in a democratic way and they don’t have experience with freedom of expression. And CCTV does not play well with others.”

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A Stinky Situation in China

By Linda Nguyen

One man’s trash is certainly not another man’s treasure. In fact, it’s an increasingly stinky problem. China’s prosperity may be growing but so are the mounting piles of trash. China has had problems with their trash for years now.

A summary from The Christian Science Monitor “As China’s prosperity grows, so do its trash piles” by Violet Law.

“It seems that China, which does a brisk business in importing and disposing of Western trash, has been caught off-guard by how fast its own homegrown garbage is building up. After all, this is a country that is traditionally thrifty, and famine and deprivation are still very much in most people’s living memories.

But as China’s economy barrels onward, waste, a byproduct of prosperity, is piling up. And there’s little structure in place to deal with it – aside from the trash pickers. Hong Kong is competitive with the world’s developed economies in churning out garbage according to figures based off a 2009 survey by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Last year, an estimated 2,000 pounds per person of garbage, a quarter of which was food waste, was tossed out in Hong Kong. That outdid the Americans, who on average ditched about 1,700 pounds of trash.”

In the past, China has tried to resolve their trash problem by using giant perfume guns to get rid of the smell. However, since China’s garbage output equals one-third of the world’s total trash, it’s difficult to get rid of the smell, and the trash. The author of “The Coming Collapse of China” Gordon Chang says “Trash has been a problem for all developing countries. But China has more problems than their trash. Trash is just one of their problems and they’ve got to find someplace to put all this stuff. It will get worse.”

And it has gotten worse. According to Violet Law, 

“And even when Chinese do take recycling seriously, the government’s track record on green initiatives makes it difficult to trust that their own efforts aren’t in vain.

Beijing is now in the middle of a drive—the fifth over the past 15 years—to separate food waste and recyclables from other household waste. The previous efforts failed because the municipal officials didn’t treat the sorted trash properly, says Zhang Boju, a researcher with China’s oldest environmental group, Friends of Nature. “There’s a trust gap between the citizens and the government. This gap is the big challenge for the solid waste sorting in Beijing.”

To be sure, many countries grapple with waste problems, but both environmentalists and scholars in China attribute wanton waste disposal here to a low level of environmental awareness.”

China has made efforts to fix the increasing trash problem. For instance, adding more trash bins in cities and creating programs like EcoPark to reduce waste. But these baby steps are not making a big impact on the country just yet. Chang says “It is not effective because the government is not dealing with it. A small issue like water, the government is not doing anything effective; you can’t expect them to deal with solid waste problems.”

The lack of a proper recycling program has affected China in more ways than one. The U.S. has warned the Chinese regime on many of their growing issues such as climate change and air pollution but will the U.S. step in this pile of mess? Chang says “I don’t know what we will do, but I don’t think we will get too involved. We are getting to the point where our relationship with China is deteriorating. Environmental issues are just not important to them.”

Here’s a look at the growing mess in China.

Beijing

Beijing

Yangtze River

 

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12 Years of Persecution – Interview with Falun Gong Spokesman

“Throughout Chinese history we have never seen such a brutal persecution”

One of the largest campaigns against people of conscience in China is the persecution of Falun Gong. On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party started a brutal crackdown against the spiritual group. Twelve years later and it’s still going on.

Here’s an NTD News story from July 20, 2011:

NTD Reporter Ben Hedges interviewed Erping Zhang, the spokesman of the official press office for Falun Gong—the “Falun Dafa Information Center”.

In this video Erping Zhang gives some insights about the persecution.

Interview with Erping Zhang, Spokesman of Falun Dafa Information Center:

The persecution of Falun Gong is severe and widespread in China

He was walking home from a concert he gave. He was just grabbed by the secret police and they took him to a police station and they tortured him to death…”

…when Jiang Zemin, the Communist Party’s Chief at that time, wished [ordered] the persecution in 1999, he started his campaign actually short of legal grounds and in fact this persecution itself is against the Chinese constitution, which has a clause for freedom of belief and freedom of conscience.

 Why is Falun Gong being persecuted? 

One scholar joked he said: ‘If everyone inside China will practice principles of truthfulness, compassion, tolerance, the Chinese Communist Party will no longer be there.’ Because what they have been doing over the years, they were lying about their own history.

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Truth and Lies Behind China’s Xintang Protests

Riots in Xintang, a township of Zengcheng county in Guangdong province, started when word spread that city management (chengguan) had beaten a street vendor to death and roughed up his pregnant wife. But authorities held a press conference on Sunday (June 12), where they presented a man who they said was the one “rumored to have been killed.”

A summary from AFP:

The clashes in Xintang, a district in the greater Guangzhou area, began on June 10 after rumors spread that police had beaten a street hawker to death and manhandled his pregnant wife.

The man rumored to have been killed was presented at a news conference by authorities last Sunday, telling reporters that he, his wife and their unborn baby girl were “doing very well”.

Police said they had detained a person suspected of spreading rumours on the Internet that triggered the clashes.

The public security bureau in Guangzhou city announced on its official page on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, that the suspect surnamed Chen was detained Tuesday and had confessed to publishing false information online.

On Friday, June 17 the Zengcheng Daily published on a local government website, that “Armed police did not carry lethal weapons or fire a single shot” and that “There was no confrontation between police and the civilian population, nor between the local population and migrants.”

But according to AFP:

"There was no confrontation between police and the civilian population?" (Weibo.com)

“On June 15 the judicial authorities arrested 19 people suspected of obstructing the work of the police, provoking incidents and deliberately destroying property,” the Zengcheng Daily said Friday in an article published on a local government website.

The article stressed that nobody was killed in the clashes and said “armed police did not carry lethal weapons or fire a single shot”.

“There was no confrontation between police and the civilian population, nor between the local population and migrants,” the article said.

But television images of the unrest showed hundreds of officers and armored vehicles deployed, with people hurling bricks and bottles at local officials and police, and vandalizing ATMs and police posts.

Riot Police on the streets (blog.sina.com.cn)

Riot police and protesters (blog.sina.com.cn)

Riot police and protesters (blog.sina.com.cn)

Riots go on, 10:00 p.m. (Weibo.com)

Here are some comments from Chinese netizens:

Replies to a posting of news article claiming the “six no”

bqcd:
只是日常演习,请大家不要 恐慌,以后将会在全国各地进行,请大家多多配合!
“This is just a usual drill, nobody panic, this will be carried out around the country, please cooperate.”

Overturned police cars (Weibo.com)

qdv:
都军管了,怎么会没杀伤性 武器?
“It’s all under military control, how can there be no lethal weapons?”

Shenjingdao:
骗人太多,官 方报道实不敢信
“Too many lies, I don’t dare to believe in official reports.”

Replies to a question posted on Baidu asking whether the situation in Zhencheng has been resolved:

Daomogue:

没有!现在JC在 到处抓人,不分青红皂白抓到你就是罚款!没有300——500出不来! 今天我老乡下班路上莫名其 妙的被JC打了一棒!

“No, now police are arresting people, and fining

people at will, you can’t get out without 300 or 500 Yuan. One of my friends was hit by police for no reason after work.”

Overturned police cars (Weibo.com)

Concerned Netizen says:

你知道为什么中国人总是被 外国人看不起吗?从这件事的报道上看就知道,颠倒黑白,百姓就是悲哀啊
回答者: 热心网友 | 2011-6-16 22:03
“Do you know why westerners always look down on Chinese people? You can tell from reports on this incident. Black and white are turned around, it’s such a pity for people.”

And although Zhenzheng authorities are denying clashes happened between the protesters and the police, they have since issued a notice on ChinaReviewNews.com calling on people to turn others in for “resisting public security officers carrying out their duties and participating in attacks of state organizations.”

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Netizens Blog About Corruption

Over the past week several Chinese websites have sprung up, allowing web users to report instances of bribing officials, as well as offering general discussion on the issue of corruption in China.

The sites are reportedly inspired by the Indian website, ipaidabribe.com.

Here is a selection from woxinghuile.com, one of the Chinese sites. Some users report individual cases such as this instance in a detention center in Cangzhou:

去沧州东关看守所看我弟弟,看门的老头不给打电话联系看守所所长,一直暗示我给他钱,结果给了钱真就给烟送进去了,电话也让打了,行贿100,烟值160

“I went to Cangzhou’s Dongguan detention center to see my younger brother, the guard would not phone the detention center chief, but kept hinting that I should give him money. As a result I gave him some money and he then sent in the cigarettes [I brought for the chief] and called the chief. Bribe: 100 kuai, 160 cigarrettes.”

Other bloggers lament about the state of the nation:

“I am between 30 and 40 years old, I have served the [Chinese] Communist Party for 15 years. When I was at university, joining the party was the mark of a good student, thus in my second year of university I joined the Party. Because of this I was happy for a period of time. However there is one point one can be sure of, joining the Party, for the vast majority of people, is only a kind of mark of honor, but not a real belief, this includes myself. The mark of a good student, you get priority for awards, the salary when you look for a job, etc. It goes without saying that there are advantages.

Although after being brain washed, many things seem muddled, for me, after the passage of time, my attitude towards corruption has been changing. I went from feeling angered at injustice, to being numb and heartless, and then finally reached a conclusion of ‘Oppose the corrupt, dead [Communist] Party, and don’t oppose the corruption of a dead country.’”

Recently I have opened a small business, and it has been difficult to support myself. One can only get a taste of what it is like after having experienced it themselves. The hardest part is, that from visiting clients to getting to know various levels of officials, one must always pave the road with Guanxi [A common Chinese term literally meaning “relationship,” in this context it means using one’s personal relationship with officials to get benefits out of them], for example giving them a present in advance and only then can one achieve one’s aim. From this I lament: China’s corruption is not only the corruption of the ruling class, but is a corruption that pervades throughout the entire society. To put it another way: today we are here discussing how we detest corruption, but it is hard to guarantee that if tomorrow we were sitting in the seat of government we could shout out loud that we are not corrupt. This is what is most frightening.

After all, the origin of this is that everyone is corrupt, and there is a lack of religious belief among people. I have personally travelled to several places that could be said to be corrupt, they exist in the various corners of the globe, but there they have one characteristic, is everyone paying attention? Places where people have religious or philosophical beliefs, the degree of corruption is comparatively low. For example the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and New Zealand etc… and in places where people don’t have religious or philosophical beliefs the degree of corruption is high. For example Africa and China.

It is reasonable to say that China, which has existed for 5000 years and has encompassed 8000 li [Chinese Miles] is one of the four great ancient civilizations. For the last 2000 years China has been governed by the theories of Confucius and Lao Zi. But after 10 years of catastrophes [most likely referring to the Cultural Revolution 1966-76, a Communist movement that destroyed traditional beliefs and values], people’s foundation has been shaken. They have discarded the ancient teachings of propriety and justice. At the same time, the “mighty” Communism, because it is unattainable, has just become a slogan of those in power and a laughing stock of the people. That is also to say, the old beliefs have been broken, and because the new beliefs are unreliable and hard to establish, they can only lead people to a kind of perplexed, delirious state. No matter whether it is from the lowest grass roots level or the most incorruptible level of handling public affairs, to the governing class of this “harmonious society,” they are all breeding this practical attitude. From buying a main department position for 10 million yuan or an auxiliary department position for 8 million yuan or getting to know someone, and in order to ask them to help you handle something you must first take them out to dinner or give them some cigars as a present, etc. These kinds of unverifiable stories are examples of how the whole of society has decayed.

I have said too much in an un-ordered way. I will return to make one point: opposing corruption in China, what one must oppose isn’t just corruption at the official level or middle levels, actually what is important is, one should really oppose the little bit of corruption and lack of faith in one’s heart. Only that will bring it permanently under control.”

Translated from woxinghuile.com

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Cash for Used Vehicles Scheme Planned to Boost Sales

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Wednesday – Authorities in China have announced a scheme to pay for used vehicles, which would otherwise be scrapped. Owners will be able to get a subsidy of up to $2,800 USD to pay for a new vehicle when they exchange old farm vehicles, trucks and busses. The scheme is designed to boost slumping auto sales, which declined in April and May.

In 2009 a similar subsidy scheme to exchange old cars and light trucks helped China’s auto market grow to become the largest in the world. The United States also implemented a so-called “Cash for Clunkers” scheme around the same time period. These subsidy schemes are not only designed to help boost auto sales but also to encourage sales of brand new, more fuel efficient vehicles.

Yet opinions on the new scheme and the Chinese auto industry’s general outlook are mixed, Rao Da, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association told AP:

“Car owners can make even more money in the second hand market. So unless they can’t sell the vehicles there, I doubt it will do much to boost sales.”

However business advisory firm AlixPartners think the recent slowdown will not plunge China’s annual auto sales figures into the negative. In a recent report they estimated the Chinese auto industry would experience up to 15% annual growth until 2016.

“The market has certainly witnessed a period of slowdown in the first few months of this year as the government phased out incentives and restrictions in new-car purchases were implemented,” said Ivo Naumann, managing director of AlixPartners and head of the firm’s Shanghai office. “And yet the executives we surveyed, from across the industry, have a very positive view on its long-term growth, saying they believe growth will average 12% to 15% from now to 2016. If not the heady heights of 2009, those are still very healthy numbers.”

The firm highlights the large growth potential the Chinese market still holds.

“The key driver for this expected growth is the increasing wealth of households, says the study. Currently, 72% of urban households in China with annual income of more than RMB 60,000 own a car, but that represents only 20% of all urban households and 10% of all households in the country, illustrating a lot of growth potential. The number of households surpassing this income threshold is expected to double in the next five years, says AlixPartners.”

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