China links galore- May 13

Chinese influence is spreading across the world, and contrary to what some say, it’s not all negative and in many cases, welcomed and perceived with a sense of optimism. In China’s Himalayan neighbor Nepal, more people are learning Chinese and China is becoming a more important neighbor, which the article tries to give a negative angle by highlighting that this worries India. In Uganda in East Africa, a former government minister runs a community library to help inform people about China, while speaking about the ways Chinese investment is helping her country, such as in the fishing and aquafarming industries.

It’s been five years since the massive 2008 earthquake in Sichuan (with a bad one having struck again just a few weeks ago), and this BBC feature shows just how destructive it was. It was one of the costliest earthquakes and forced the most people in history to be displaced.

This is a nice piece about two budding teen basketball giants, one from China, and one from India! It’d be easy to want to guess that this Chinese guy can be the next Yao Ming, but it’s premature and unfair to do that. Also, there’ve been other big Chinese ballers like Wang Zhizhi and Yi Jianlian who’ve played in the NBA and had modest careers. Yao Ming was special and his solitary success among Chinese NBA players proves that size by itself is no guarantee. I wish this kid the best though he better bulk up, like his Indian counterpart.

Take a look and listen of the punk music scene in Beijing at the Guardian. A bunch of youngsters talk about why punk is so appealing, sounding similar to other youths around the world living with a lot of stress, angst and rebellion. Beijing is one of the main music scenes in China, and it’s encouraging to see different types of music growing there.

Moving from music to art, this article looks at how Chinese artists are trying to boost the visibility and creation of arts. There’s a big hunger for good art, no doubt, but modern Chinese art is still not very famous or popular. With time it’ll change and we’ll all know more modern Chinese painters, sculptors, dancers and so on.

One very famous Chinese artist who many of us do know, recently made a very reasonable personal appeal. Leave me alone, and just let me write, said Mo Yan. His views may disappoint some people, but he’s blunt and honest. He’s not pretending to be a savior of China, much less humanity, as he’s chosen to focus what he can influence, which is his writing.

Amazing pics and an even more amazing discovery. This is the remnants of a cityin a lake in Zhejiang province. It’s a fascinating sight, though it seems it was already known when it was flooded (the lake was artificially created from the construction of a dam). It seems a shame that more wasn’t done to preserve its ancient structures and artifacts when it was intact at that time.

Cantonese cuisine is widely known, but it’s not all just dim sum and fried rice, as this article about Guangzhou’s Lychee Bay illustrates. Yet even with a Cantonese heritage, I admit I don’t know about some of these foods but I’ll make sure to try some in future.

The 10 best Chinese cities for expats are headed by Shanghai, no surprise there. Beijing is number two and the rest are all major prosperous cities as well, though Tianjin is a bit of a surprise.

This historic Hangzhou scissors company has been in existence for over 350 years and is still going strong. I think my grandmother even owned a pair, with an all-iron frame, knife-shaped blades, and curved handles.

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