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David Beckham's Facebook Post 'Great 48 hours in China' Upsets Hong Kong Netizens

(source: Paulblank via Wikimedia Commons ) When it comes to China , the phrase 'words matter' is definitely true, as ex-footballer David Beckham discovered a few days ago. On March 23, the former captain of the English national team visited Shanghai to take part in events organized by a life insurance company, which had appointed David Beckham as its global ambassador. On Friday he travelled to Hong Kong to promote the company. At the end of his trip, Beckham published a Facebook post: 'Great 48 hours in China' Beckham's apparently harmless post, however, caused a backlash. Hong Kong netizens criticized the ex-footballer for implying that Hong Kong and China are one and the same thing. Hong Kong netizens wrote comments below the post to point out Beckham's error.

Are Taiwanese Nice to Foreigners? A Few Thoughts on Prejudice and Freedom

Years ago I wrote a post about the contrast between the clean MRT and dirty restaurants in Taiwan . Yesterday a Taiwanese user posted the following critical comment: Read through your paragraph, so you want to spend a little money but experience the luxury, you are telling the joke.  Actually, if you feel bad toward this kind of experience, you can go back to your own country, right ? No One Force you to come here, buddy~  If you think the restaurants in your country are much cleaner than ours, then.... you don't even have to torture yourself, just go back and do not waste your time to write down these shit.  Last but not the least, come to a new environment, you should learn how to get accustomed to their culture, including learn their language, not just complain all the day.  You can read my short reply to him here .  Now, does the logic of this Taiwanese netizen's comment sound familiar to anyone? Let's compare it with the following sentence: 

Chinese Official Says China Might Invade Taiwan If "Peaceful Reunification Takes Too Long"

In a recent interview Wang Zaixi (王在希), a former vice-chairman of China's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council , said that Beijing might resort to the use of force if "peaceful reunification" between China and Taiwan "takes too long". Wang's statements echo the increasingly assertive stance of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) towards the island since Xi Jinping took office in 2012. In the interview Wang Zaixi stated that although the Taiwan question is a complex issue that must be resolved in the long term, there "must be a sense of urgency towards cross-strait reunification." Wang blamed Taiwan 's democratic process for slowing down the prospect of a peaceful solution of the cross-strait issue, arguing that because of the transfer of power from the pro-unification to the pro-independence coalition the possibility of peaceful unification "is gradually being lost." In 2014 and 2015 the Guomindang, Taiwan's

Back to Blogging?

It's been a long time since I last wrote a blog post. I have been quite busy and, as most bloggers know, it is very hard to post regularly over a long period of time. That's probably why many blogs such as mine end up being discontinued. To be honest I have missed blogging, but I just had no time for it, for personal reasons I don't want to discuss here. I have also decided to put more effort into my website china-journal.org, where I write new posts about Chinese culture and history and republish old articles. As I explained earlier, I felt that this personal blog wasn't the right place to write serious articles. The solution was to start another website. This blog is and should be a platform for absolutely personal opinions, experiences, and from time to time also for weird news. When I write this blog, I just want to relax. I want to write short posts, rants, thoughts, episodes, and that's it. Although I left Taiwan a long time ago (and I would like

How The Arab Spring Fuelled China's Maoist Revival

Celebrations in Tahrir Square after Omar Soliman's statement that concerns Mubarak's resignation. February 11, 2011 (By Jonathan Rashad - Flickr , [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons) In October 2011 China's state-run newspaper China Daily published an op-ed by former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema about the Arab Spring , a series of anti-government protests which erupted in 2010 across the Muslim world. D'Alema wrote: "The Arab upheavals are a by-product of the inexorable process of globalization in the twenty-first century ... Only by fully understanding the demands and grievances of these Arab revolutionaries will the West be able to give the region appropriate support – and this support is critical. The Arab revolts have not been directed against the West – on the contrary, they have been fed by Western democratic principles and values – but they could yet produce a reactionary backlash. "Western countries' support must be un

Taiwan's Fears of War with China Grow

Ever since Nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949, the island has been confronted with the permanent risk of Communist invasion . In the 1950s the People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched two attacks against the last bulwark of Chiang Kai-shek 's regime. The last major crisis in the Taiwan Strait dates back to the mid-1990s, when the People's Republic of China (PRC) conducted missile "tests" dangerously close to Taiwan's shores. This display of military strength was aimed at then-President of Taiwan Lee Teng-hui, who had publicly refuted Beijing's territorial claims on the island. 

Taiwan's Fears of War with China Grow

Ever since Nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949, the island has been confronted with the permanent risk of Communist invasion . In the 1950s the People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched two attacks against the last bulwark of Chiang Kai-shek 's regime. The last major crisis in the Taiwan Strait dates back to the mid-1990s, when the People's Republic of China (PRC) conducted missile "tests" dangerously close to Taiwan's shores. This display of military strength was aimed at then-President of Taiwan Lee Teng-hui, who had publicly refuted Beijing's territorial claims on the island. 

Chinese Passengers on Chongqing-bound Flight Attack Flight Attendant

Hainan Airlines aircraft (photo by Aero Icarus , licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons On June 12 a Hainan Airlines flight from Taiyuan to Chongqing was delayed after two male passengers assaulted a flight attendant . Flight HU7041 was scheduled for departure at 1:30 from Taiyuan Wusu International Airport . After the completion of boarding and safety check procedures the plane reached the runway and was taxiing, but the pilot stopped the aircraft shortly before take-off. 

Stuck In Macau For One Night

Senado Square On Friday I decided to go to Macau , a city which in my opinion - as I wrote in the past - is one of Asia's most charming travel destinations. I was planning on staying there for just one day, taking a walk in the afternoon and later meeting an old friend of mine, before returning to Hong Kong at around 11 p.m. The original idea was to take a ferry in the morning, but because I slept miserably the previous night I ended up leaving home at 3 p.m. The weather was hot and humid, the sky grey. Around one hour later I arrived at the Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui. After buying a ticket and going through the immigration control, I joined the unavoidable long queue largely consisting of mainland Chinese tourists: young and old, fancy and sporty, all invariably holding shopping bags with names of fashion or food brands written on them.  Riding a ferry from Hong Kong to Macau may seem like an enjoyable and relaxing experience - to those who ha

Launching A New Website - china-journal.org

In this post I would like to introduce my new website: china-journal.org , in which I will be writing about Chinese culture, history and society.  I had been thinking for quite some time about starting a new website, since I was very unhappy with how this blog has developed over the years. At the beginning "My New Life In Asia" was supposed to be a platform where I could write about my personal experiences and thoughts - which is what blogs have been invented for. Instead, I started to write about Confucianism, politics, culture etc. In the end I totally abandoned my original purpose.  This created two problems: first, many posts I published on this site are out of place; second, I have no space for a "public diary" as I had envisioned it. The only way to solve this issue was to separate blogging from more "serious" writing by creating an entirely new website. Let me now briefly explain the concept and structure of china-journal.org. First of

Should Supporters Of The Chinese Communist Party Be Allowed To Stage Demos in Taiwan? A Few Thoughts On The Limits Of Freedom Of Speech

On May 15 Taiwanreporter published a video (see below) showing people demonstrating against Taiwan independence and in favour of "peaceful unification" with Communist China. In Ximending one usually sees scores of supporters of Taiwan independence waving flags and banners, but apparently pro-Communist forces are now trying to counterbalance those demonstrations by staging their own.  The video shows a number of protesters waving flags of the People's Republic of China (PRC). They seem to belong to the so-called Chinese Patriotic Association (中華愛國同心會), a group that supports the incorporation of Taiwan into the PRC according to the "one country, two systems" (一國兩制) framework that Beijing already used for Hong Kong and Macau. This is not the first such demonstration organized by "Chinese patriotic" groups. Taipei 101 used to be one of the patriotic association's favourite spots, before an incident involving peaceful Falun Gong demonstrators led

Law In Imperial China – Confucianism And Legalism

Killing the scholars and burning the books   (anonymous 18th century Chinese painting depicting the alleged burning of books and killing of scholars under China’s first emperor Qin Shihuang; source: Wikipedia )  The legal system of imperial  China  developed from two schools of thought:  Confucianism  and  Legalism . Although both of them exerted a deep influence on China’s state-building as well as on its moral and legal traditions, at the beginning these two philosophies were bitterly opposed to each other, as they were based on entirely different principles (see: Xin Ren:  Tradition of the Law and Law of the Tradition: Law, State, and Social Control in China , 1997, p. 19). Confucianism  (儒家) originated from the teachings of  Confucius  (551 – 479 BC), a Chinese scholar, politician and philosopher who lived in the  Spring and Autumn period . The main body of the Confucian canon comprises the Four Books and the Five Classics (四書五經), texts which have been traditionally attribut