Changing China

Giant on the move

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Chicks love vegetarians


Want to be sexy? Then don’t eat meat, says Taiwanese star Barbie Hsu.


“Vegetarians make chicks happy” is a new People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign fronted by Hsu, better known in the Chinese speaking world as “Big S”.

PETA hope the actress, who shot to fame in the hit Taiwanese soap opera “Meteor Garden”, will appeal to younger Chinese.


The beauty and the beast will appear in magazines and on websites in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong over the next few weeks.

Video credit: Wang Shubing

Photo credit: Jason Lee

Blog credit: Lena Baudach

What, this old junk?


Discarded computer parts

Before the triangular symbol taught us to recycle, reduce and reuse, recycling in Taiwan worked this way:

Early morning or late at night, a man riding a tricycle trailed a small wagon and his long shadow through an alley piled with waste under a lone street light. He collected the brown glass Taiwan Beer bottles, from a wedding banquet, possibly, and placed them into his wagon. Sometimes he hollered “Empty wine bottles for sale?”

Why we like garlic

- And China’s best performing asset in 2009 is….. garlic

It beats gold, stocks and even property with prices up as much as 40 -fold.

Is it because of swine flu or rising production costs or market speculators ?

Beijingers give their reasons for the humble garlic bulb’s rise to success.

Video credit: Christina Hu

Photo credit: David Gray

Smoking out the flu


Suffering from a bout of winter flu? Chinese traditional medicine has its own answers – you can rebalance your bodies’ meridian with moxibustion, the smoky twin to acupuncture, or bleed the bad toxins away with wet cupping.

The practice of burning moxa, the herb mugwort, above or on the skin can treat many ills, according to moxibustion therapist Fan Changwei.

The Price of Coal


What drives a miner to work in one of China’s notoriously dangerous pits, where 3,000 people were killed in 2008 alone?

“We all know mining is dangerous, but what can we do?” Li Liangcang, a farmer form eastern China, asked me in his tiny rented miner’s house in the country’s frozen north. “I’m not young any more – 37 or 38 – and it’s too late to learn a skill. It’s not a question of choice. you have a family that depends on you. If you don’t do this job, what else can you do?”

Chinese coal to Copenhagen


Chinese coal mines are never far from domestic headlines and are increasingly gaining international attention as Copenhagen’s climate change talks approach.

The talks will focus on setting emissions cuts to fight global warming and China, the world’s largest polluter, is heavily reliant on fossil fuel.

A living, working relic leaves locals unenthusiastic


Deep in mountainous Sichuan province, locals are relying on one of the world’s last passenger steam trains as their only form of transport.

This living relic has never been updated since 1959, when it was rolled out to transport coal from a local mine. It runs along narrow gauge tracks roughly half the width of modern train tracks.

The right to play?


Fierce competition for jobs and university places, and great expectations from parents, are pushing China ’s only children to their limits.
Two-three year olds learn English, and experimental classes aim to put “little geniuses” in university seven years ahead of their peers.
Are the children in this video losing their “right to play”, as stated by UN in the Convention of the Rights of the Child?

Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 31:

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

Panda Diplomacy: China’s goodwill pandas ready for Australia mission


See Panda Diplomacy report on

A tough time for trade and diplomatic ties between China and Australia, but the loan of this cuddly couple may repair the rift.
Wang Wang and Fu Ni, from China’s southwest Sichuan province, will be sent to the Adelaide zoo by yearend in a 10-year loan for research purposes.
Relations have been tense between China and Australia after Chinese state-owned metals firm Chinalco failed in a $19.5 billion bid for a stake in Rio Tinto, and separately four Rio employees were arrested on suspicion of corporate espionage. A decision by Australia’s government in July to grant a visa for exiled Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer further soured ties. But panda diplomacy may be answer.

Video Credit: Guan Yongning

Obama at the Great Wall


Aides say U.S. President Barack Obama really enjoys sightseeing breaks during the hectic schedules of his foreign trips, since they let him clear his head.

The blustery wind on the Great Wall on Wednesday may have helped as well, as Obama broke away from tour guides and walked alone for a few minutes to Badaling’s third watchtower.