China · Sports

Random China links

A bit late, but still I thought it’s good to note that China has accomplished another success in sports- its first world boxing champion. Xiong Chaozhong, from Yunnan province, won the WBC minimumweight belt on home soil Nov. 24, beating Mexican Javier Martinez. To be honest, I’ve never heard of this “minimumweight”(also known as strawweight) weight class but as its name suggests, its very small – below 48 kg. Well, good for Xiong, an ethnic Miao born and raised in Wenshan, Yunnan, and hopefully he’ll have a long reign. You don’t hear of many Chinese in international boxing so it’s not surprising that it’s only now, China’s got its first world champion.

I know, as do many, that China is still not a middle-class nation and that its GDP per capita is very small. Yet I had no idea that just 10 years, it was basically US$1000. This chart by the UK’s Guardian shows a comparison of China in 2002 and 2012 in different areas. Whether it be GDP per capita, the number of billionaires, or tourists, all these numbers skyrocketed in these past 10 years. For all the criticism that China, its leaders, and Hu Jintao in particular, have received, I’d have to say that increasing the overall GDP per capita by 500 percent in 10 years is really damn impressive.

Finally, earlier this week, China’s Navy landed a jet fighter onto its aircraft carrier successfully. The fighter also took off the carrier. This is an important step towards being able to utilize the aircraft carrier, as it is the carrier’s aircraft that are its most potent weapon. Also, landing on a carrier is no small task since it requires landing a jet onto a small platform on a moving ship in the wide-open sea. Skills, coordination, and technology, in the form of arresting wires that latch onto the tailhook on the plane to stop it when it lands, are all necessary.

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