Thursday, February 25, 2016

Assorted Links: Hurt Feelings, Less Love, Less Info, and Mao's Holy Mangos

It has been a while since I semi-regularly did "assorted links" posts, and I would like to return to the practice. To kick things off, here are a few links with brief excerpts and little or no commentary.

1. David Bandurski addresses some questions about a common phrase heard from China when it is not pleased with foreigners' or other countries' actions or words:
In 2007, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters that diminutive Saint Lucia had “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.”

This was quite a feat for Saint Lucia’s 183,000-odd residents, given China’s population of more than 1.3 billion.

Is China really so sensitive? Why must it resort to such petulance? . . . And what on earth did Saint Lucia do?

2. Lilian Lin and Chang Chen report China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has suspended yet another gay-themed show:
The Web drama, which follows the lives of four high school students played by fresh-faced actors, has generated buzz on social media ever since it went online about one month ago. The show’s Beijing-based production house said that the drama was viewed more than 10 million times in the day after it premiered.

3. Edward Wong and Neil Gough report that gay-themed shows aren't the only thing the Chinese government is further clamping down on:
Chinese leaders are taking increasingly bold steps to stop rising pessimism about turbulent markets and the slowing of the country’s growth. As financial and economic troubles threaten to undermine confidence in the Communist Party, Beijing is tightening the flow of economic information and even criminalizing commentary that officials believe could hurt stocks or the currency.

4. Finally, Benjamin Ramm tells the fascinating story of how mangos became "holy" during China's Cultural Revolution:
To quell the forces that he had unleashed, Mao sent 30,000 workers to Qinghua University in Beijing, armed only with their talisman, the Little Red Book. The students attacked them with spears and sulphuric acid, killing five and injuring more than 700, before finally surrendering. Mao thanked the workers with a gift of approximately 40 mangoes, which he had been given the previous day by Pakistan's foreign minister.

They had a huge impact.

It's hard to top the mango story. So that's all for now.

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