Friday, April 28, 2006

Beibei Jingjing Huanhuan Yingying Nini

In response to 'Guns Don't Kill People - Air Kills People', the blog of Ira Krakow asks, "Are you ready for the 2008 Olympics?”

The sad truth is that it doesn't matter if YOU are ready for the 2008 Olympics because the Chinese government will be. The Chinese have mastered the art of deception with everything ranging from a pair of knock-off Nike socks that cost 10 cents, to an entire set of Nike golf clubs costing less than 150 US dollars. So why should a knock-off "clean" Beijing be any different?

All over Beijing signs can be read saying things like, "Greener Beijing" and "A More Beautiful Tomorrow". The true question is whether or not this is the government's hopes or just another piece of propaganda.

When China has official visitors to its country the government has a habit of shutting down all factories at least a week before the visitors arrive. By the time the official visitor lands the Beijing pollution that he/she has heard so much about is nothing but a little brown over the horizon.

It is also believed that the government won't allow most local drivers on the roads during the summer period allowing for reasonably nice traffic added to the "blue" sky.

Another truth is that sandstorms regularly hit Beijing between the months of March and April, and the summer is normally very dry. The dry weather and cloudless skies mixed with clean air and low traffic will make China look like a wonderful beautiful country in the eyes of the entire world. So are you ready for the 2008 Olympics? It doesn't matter because the Chinese government will be.

The Beijing Update 2006-04-28

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Story of the Year - We Don't Care Anymore

Quite possibly the greatest story of the year (at least in our opinions) aired on Star News Asia on Thursday, April 13, 2006, called, "China Corruption". It was reported by Star's brave Beijing Correspondant Dominic Waghorn, and definitely should be viewed by anyone and everyone.

The video can be found on Sky News' website The actual link can be found at,,31100-china_p10436,00.html#

The Beijing Update 2006-04-25

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Guns Don't Kill People - Air Kills People

China is known for a number of things. They claim to have the best air in the world, they claim the highest elevated point in the world, biggest wall in the world, biggest dam in the world, best basketball player in the world, biggest population, richest person, heck, they even claim to be the first to discover America.

Beijing is also the most polluted city in the entire world, and this IS fact. Mexico City, claimed to be second in the world, had a pollution index of only 66. Los Angelos, the most polluted in America was at 44. Beijing, China, as well as many other cities went well above 300 which is the point the air becomes, "Hazardous". Beijing hit 500, the highest level pollution number available.

At the very moment these pictures were captured, Yahoo Weather described Beijing as "Clear". Not entirely too far from the truth as believe it or not there were absolutely no clouds in the sky. Tourists that may find this shocking should never travel to Beijing when Yahoo describes the weather as "Smoke". More images and all full-size images are freely available for distribution. All e-mail requests should be sent to

Finally comes an article about Beijing's pollution 6 days before the above pictures were taken. It reads:

//Tuesday, April 11, 2006Beijing residents driven indoors as smog
and dust choke capital JAMIL ANDERLINI in Beijing

Beijing residents have been warned not to open windows or go outside as the city experiences its worst air pollution so far this year. Visibility in the city was less than 1km yesterday and on Sunday as a heavy blanket of smog and dust descended on the capital. Environmental officials said the pollution was caused largely by dust blown in from Inner Mongolia and Mongolia. "We have no way to immediately resolve this problem. It comes from sand and dust blown from thousands of km away," said Wang Xiaoming, an official at the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.

The Beijing International Marathon was held on Sunday, even as the
official pollution index hit grade five - the highest possible rating with an
air pollution index reading of more than 300 - and the State Environmental
Protection Agency warned all residents, particularly the elderly and children,
to stay indoors. Dust particles make up the bulk of the problem, but to
reach the highest possible pollution grade there also must be significant levels
of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone in the air.
Desertification, heavy industry, the growing number of cars in the city and
ubiquitous construction sites all exacerbate the problem.
A satellite study by the European Space Agency conducted last year concluded that Beijing and the surrounding areas had the worst air in the world, with pollutants increasing by about 50 per cent in the past 10 years. The implications go beyond the health dangers for Beijing residents. "There are many other choice locations
throughout the country with air quality that is manageable in comparison to
Beijing and the poor air quality is likely to discourage foreign investors from
locating here," said James Zimmerman, a partner at Squires, Sanders &
Dempsey law firm and a member of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.

"There are too few green belts to enhance the air quality and
not enough political will to strong-arm power plants and factories into using
basic, clean technology." Mr Wang said the government had started
controlling activity at open-pit construction sites during the spring dust storm
season and was spraying roads to keep the dust down.
With the Olympics just more than two years away, many residents are questioning whether the city will be able to solve the pollution problem in time.

Special thanks to our resident photographer for the pictures.

The Beijing Update 2006-04-18

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Beijing Update Update 01

March 2006

In the month of March we saw new uninforced laws, reiterated do's and dont's, and old trends with no sign of improvement. This is, "The Beijing Update Update 01", where we go and try to find out if anything we wrote about has been changed whatsoever.

March 14, 2006 - Beggars Can't Be Choosers
The Beggars-Can't-Follow law was a wonderful idea to clean up Beijing Shi, but it has since been in declining condition. Tourists don't know of the law and the police can't be everywhere at once. Even though they are often near the beggars they most likely have better things to do with their time.
March 17, 2006 - I Don't Know How To Smoke
After our post about the pollution the weather was soon upgraded (?) from "Smoke" to...
..."Dust". It has since then become a nice "clear" day with temperatures soon on the rise.
Also discussed on the 17th was our departure date from China which was believed to be on the 26th or 27th of April. However, this was changed and our departure date is significantly earlier than expected (as one might tell from the clocks).

March 20, 2006 - Its Not Over Til The Fat Lady Sings
Hu JinTao's "ba rong ba chi" aka the "8 do's and dont's", has been heavily criticized by many INCLUDING the Chinese media. It seems many believe that it is "old fashioned" to love the land, work hard, help others, and be law-abiding these days.

April Expectations:
We at The Beijing Update are attempting to plan a trip to the Beijing Zoo to see if the conditions have improved any since the last visit back in July. Expect many photos and a detailed article of how that turns out. An article about Hao Wu, the Chinese blogger that got locked up for his attempt at Freedom of Speech, should be coming soon. Also in April, the Beijing Update moves overseas while some of our contacts will remain in Beijing and should be keeping us updated with the news, so we can keep you updated.
Indeed an interesting month is to come.

The Beijing Update 2006-03-30

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Little Trouble In Big China

The daily commute in Beijing can and usually is a real pain-in-the-neck on any day of the year no matter what the weather. It is widely believed that Third Ring Road has suffered the most in recent history. Many may recall a situation in January with a subway caving in causing Beijing to be virtually paralyzed for 2 straight weeks (Subway Collapse).

March 23, 13:45, there were two men threatening to commit suicide by jumping off of one of the busiest bridges onto one of the busiest roads in all of China (the same road that collapsed from the subway). Police, soldiers, and firefighters were all on the scene in case hell broke loose. Hundreds of people lined along the corner of Jing Guang Center to watch the drama play out, many pulling cameras out for the photo opportunity. Not on the scene; an ambulance, doctor, or paramedic of any sort (no joke!).

This writer watched the whole thing play out, and must say it was a surprisingly better turn out than expected. Other than the police yelling at the men telling them to hurry and jump so they could resume traffic, people seemed almost concerned. And the 2 men got their point across as hundreds of people watched them scream their political ideas and blasphemous ideas of a concept called, "freedom".

At the last second, well an hour and 30 minutes later anyway, one man was pulled back by a police officer saving that man from falling a terrible 2-3 story fall from the top of the bridge onto a big inflated pillow (God bless that officer!). The scene ended without incident but the looks on many of the spectators seemed shocked and awed. Those 2 men really seem to have put an impression on those spectators.

(Picture above; Jing Guang Center, once Beijing's tallest building and Jing Guang bridge, where the subway collapsed and 2 men threatened to commit suicide)

The Beijing Update 2006-03-20

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's Not Over 'Til The Fat Ladies Sing

Source: China Daily

Every year more than 30,000 pounds of "Fatso Chinese" people meet in Nanjing for their annual "Fatso Club Meeting". The meeting includes but not limited to; Energy Savers 101, Party Tricks for Gravity-Inclined, Butter Sculpting, and of course many cooking related classes.

Other attendees included Sumo Wrestling Scouts, Rosie O'Donnell, "Yo Mamma so fat" joke enthusiasts, and senior members of the "Thin guys for bigger woman" club.

In related news: An elevator in Nanjing plummeted 4 stories this morning when members of the "Fatso Club" disregarded the maximum weight sign posted inside the elevator. Reports say no one was hurt thanks to their extra-added cushion.

(Photo Above; One of the members of the "Thin guys for bigger woman club")

Source: China Daily

According to the Chinese congress; fat people should be fired. Middle-aged TV anchors will be replaced with younger better looking ones. Kids will no longer be on Chinese commercials. Finally, professional footballers will no longer be able to "visit" with prostitutes.

Source: China Daily

President Hu issued his Do's and Don'ts to the Chinese public. These include:

Love, do not harm the motherland - This does not include spitting or peeing on the roads

Work hard; don't be lazy and hate work - Does not include any Chinese person, especially those in the service industry

Be united and help each other; don't gain benefits at the expense of others - Unless they are Western. Tips are not ok but it is still ok to overcharge or take the longer route in taxis.

Be disciplined and law-abiding instead of chaotic and lawless - exempt from this is any person with a vehicle, bike, or 2 feet

Know plain living and hard struggle, do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures - The average Chinese person makes less than one dollar a day.

The Beijing Update 2006-03-20

Friday, March 17, 2006

I Don't Know How To Smoke

The current weather for Beijing, China is "Smoke". Downtown, the streets are full of people hacking and gagging. Tobacco companies are losing millions of dollars as the Chinese are begining to figure out they can smoke for free just by inhaling the Beijing "air". The Chinese version of, "You're heart is blacker than..." is, "You're heart is blacker than the lungs of a man who has lived in Beijing for 5 years". Even George Burns would say that this is a bit much.

NEWS: In other news; just as the Beijing Update Blog was ready to celebrate its 4th day of on the scene reporting, word reached HQ that this blog might possibly be ending on April 26, 2006. The story has yet to be confirmed but is believed to be confirmed within a week. For now the possible dates are the 26 or the 27 of April. We'll have more on this story as it develops.

(Photo: Minutes after news of our soon departure became public; the mood at HQ and all over became "somber". Some, even use masks to cover their tears)

Part of this post has been edited and/or cut on March 20, 2006 for "personal reasons".

The Beijing Update 2006-03-17