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Epidemic tests 



By Xiao Rong 

I n a battle against the sud- 
den outbreak of an epidem- 
ic, rumors would not have 
overwhelmed Guangzhou if 
authoritative voices had doused 
them earlier. 

However, it has proved to 
be an atypical February for the 
southern Chinese city, which has 
been hit by what has now been di- 
agnosed as “atypical pneumonia,” 
posing a challenge for China’s 
first local Freedom of Govern- 
ment Information Act. 

“The ‘atypical pneumonia’ 
event has been a test of the 
Guangzhou municipal govern- 
ment’s capability to release and 
handle information, from which 
they should draw more lessons,” 
comments Zhou Hanhua, re- 
searcher at the Institute of Law 
from the Chinese Academy of So- 
cial Sciences. 

The storm started on Feb- 
ruary 8, when rumors began 
to spread via the Internet and 
mobile phone short messages 
about a mysterious and fatal 
new strain of flu. 

A typical version was that many 
people had died of the disease in 
Guangzhou since Spring Festival, 
and that many doctors and nurses 
had also been infected. 

There was no official comment 
on the rumors, nor any media 

For the next three days, shops 
were overwhelmed with de- 
mands for antibiotics, vinegar 
(used as a disinfectant) and sur- 
gical masks, all rumored to help 
block the virus. 

Panic buying even hit neigh- 
boring provinces, when shops in 
Guangzhou sold out of flu medi- 
cine and vinegar. 

It wasn’t until February 11, 
when the Guangzhou municipal 
government and Guangdong 
Public Health Bureau held sepa- 
rate press conferences to clarify 
the situation, that a semblance 
of calm was restored. 

Five of the 305 people infect- 
ed with atypical pneumonia be- 
tween November 6 last year and 
February 9 across the province 
have died, according to Huang 
Qingdao, chief of the provincial 
public health bureau. 

The government promised to 
take effective measures to con- 
trol and identify the disease, and 
ruled out the possibility that the 
epidemic was caused by any form 
of plague, anthrax or chicken flu, 
as had been widely rumored. 

The relief was short lived, 

however, with another bout of 
panic buying erupting the next 
day, this time of salt and rice. A 
press conference on February 13 
again restored calm, with guar- 
antees the government would 
ensure sufficient supplies of dai- 
ly necessities and crack down 
on illegal profiteering by local 

“Facing a second round of 
panic, the Guangzhou govern- 
ment reacted quickly and re- 
leased authoritative information 
to prevent its spread. But for 
those first three days when the 
rumors began, an official voice 
should have been heard ear- 
lier,” says Jing Huaibin, pro- 
fessor at the College of Public 
Affairs Management of Zhong- 
shan University. 

In the opinion of Zhou Han- 
hua, who is also one of the main 
contributors for the draft Na- 
tional Freedom of Information 
Act now under discussion by the 
State Council, the event reflects 
a lack of scientific management 
of public information on the gov- 
ernment’s part. 

“In the current information 
age, the traditional way of only 
reporting emergencies to senior 
officials, rather than making the 
information public, can only lead 
to the rapid spread of rumors,” 
he said. “Information and facts 
are the most effective way of kill- 
ing rumors.” 

By issuing its own Freedom 
of Information Act on January 1, 
the Guangzhou government ranks 
first among China’s local govern- 
ments to emphasize the legal duty 
of the government to release infor- 
mation to the public. 

In a survey conducted by 
Guangzhou Public Opinion In- 
vestigation Center, over 80 per- 
cent of the over 500 interviewees 
were in favor of the new act. 

“We have organized several 
lectures to answer questions 
from civil servants who have 
shown a basic understanding of 
the spirit of the act,” said Chen 
Licheng, vice director of the 
Legal Office of the Guangzhou 

Feu) villagers in Qongkurqak have slept with a solid roof over their heads since Monday’s earthquake. 

Xinjiang Quake Aftermath 

By Xiao Rong 

Classes resumed Wednes- 
day in six tent classrooms near 
the ruins of former Kezihike- 
mu elementary school, which 
was destroyed by the earth- 
quake that hit Xinjiang Uyghur 
Autonomous Region Monday. 

The quake, measuring 6.8 
on the Richter scale, jolted 
several counties in the west 
of Xinjiang, mainly Jiashi and 
Bachu, at 10:03 am Monday 
(Beijing time), leaving at least 
266 locals confirmed dead and 
over 2,055 injured. 

“It was lucky that the 
earthquake happened during 
the daytime,” says Urhan, a 
60-year-old Uygur woman from 
Qongkurqak Township, the 
worst-hit area. 

“The family was having 
breakfast when we felt shak- 
ing and heard the rumble. I 
immediately pushed my two 
grandsons out of the room 
and quickly ran out myself. 
I was knocked down by fall- 
ing bricks, but I managed to 
crawl out. A few minutes lat- 

er, the house collapsed,” she 
told Xinhua. 

Sadness pervaded the vil- 
lage as funerals were held for 
the victims in keeping with the 
Islamic tradition of burying the 
deceased within 24 hours of 

More than 8,800 houses 
and 900 classrooms were de- 

stroyed, most of them mud- 
brick structures. Aftershocks 
continued to rock the region 
Tuesday with the largest reach- 
ing more than 5.0 on the Rich- 
ter scale. 

The central government and 
the State Seismological Bu- 
reau dispatched task forces 
Monday to join local efforts in 

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Qongkurqak township suffered the most damage from the 
6.8 scale quake. Photos by Jacky 

the rescue work. The Ministry 
of Civil Affairs has allocated 
8 million yuan (US $960,000) 
to the region and some 9,000 
tents have been sent to pro- 
vide temporary accommoda- 
tion to those left homeless 
by the quake. Another 1,500 
quilts are on the way. 

Meanwhile the local gov- 
ernment of nearby Kashi has 
ordered bakeries to provide 
80,000 loaves of nang, a tradi- 
tional Uygur flat bread, to the 
earthquake victims daily. 

To date, the China Red 
Cross Society has collected 
1.86 million yuan (about 
$226,000) in donations for the 
quake victims through a spe- 
cial bank account and a 
24-hour hotline. 

The earthquake is the most 
serious since 1949 to hit Ji- 
ashi and Bachu, an area that 
has been rocked by 1 9 tremors 
measuring five or above on 
the Richter scale since 1996. 

( Sources: Xinhua 

Beijing Youth Daily ) 

municipal government. 

But the act seems to have 
been ignored in this case, by both 
the government and the public. 

“The government spokesperson 
at the press conference didn’t even 
mention the new act, nor have any 
citizens after the event questioned 
the late release of official infor- 
mation,” said Liu Heng, professor 
at the Institute of Administrative 
Law from Zhongshan University, 
who participated in the drafting 
of the act. 

In his opinion, despite the fact 
that the act has been in effect 
for two months, the awareness 
that it is the duty of the govern- 
ment to release public informa- 
tion still needs to be improved 
among both government officials 
and the general public. 

“One main problem in imple- 
menting the act is how much in- 
formation should be released and 
when is the appropriate time to 
release it, a question often asked 
by officials,” said Chen Licheng. 

In the atypical pneumonia 
event, the Guangdong Public 
Health Bureau attributed their 
late public release of the ep- 
idemic situation to the fact 
that the disease is not listed 
as one of the contagions that 
should be announced accord- 
ing to the law. 

“The government may fear 
that premature announcement of 
the epidemic will cause greater 
panic, but actually it’s advisable 
to release all related informa- 

Major Events Causing Panic 

* A spate of panic buying swept China in 
1988 in the wake of a rumor that the govern- 
ment would raise commodity prices. 

Millions of bank savings were withdrawn as 
people stocked up on everything from salt to 
washing machines, resulting in 21.5 percent in- 
flation that year. 

* Starting in late 2001, Tianjin fell prey to 

a rumor that people wielding HIV-contaminated 
syringes were attacking young women. Busi- 
ness in major shopping areas dropped by al- 
most half. 

Tianjin Public Security Bureau issued a state- 
ment on January 24, 2002, confirming that a 
small number of criminals were responsible for 
the attacks. 

After four months of wild rumors, five men 
were sentenced in Tianjin and Beijing for sy- 
ringe assaults. However none of the syringes 

contained any kind of virus. 

* A string of bomb threats around northeast 
China’s Shenyang caused panic among local 
residents earlier this year. A bank robbery in 
which a bomb was detonated on January 18 in- 
tensified the fear. 

By releasing information about the continu- 
ing investigation into the cases and promising 
to strengthen citywide security, the Shenyang 
government helped boost public confidence. 

tion as soon as possible so the 
public can judge themselves,” 
Zhou Hanhua said. 

The lack of consistency in the 
government’s release of infor- 
mation may only result in the 
spread of more unreliable in- 
formation, which may damage 
the public’s trust in the govern- 
ment, Zhou added. 

He stressed the necessity of 
establishing a regular govern- 
ment information release mech- 
anism to both guarantee the 
public’s right to the truth and 
also improve the credibility of 
the government. 

“The case will greatly push 
forward the improvement of the 
system of the release of gov- 
ernmental information, both in 
Guangzhou and around China, 
which is an inevitable trend,” 
concluded Zhou. 


^ > u ■ Under the auspices of the Information Office of Beijing Municipal Government ■ Run by Beijing Youth Daily ■ President: Zhang Yanping ■ Editor in Chief: Zhang Yabin ■ Executive Deputy Editor in Chief: He Pingping ■ Direc- 

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Beijing youth daily 6590-2525 ■ E-mail: ■ Hotline for subscription with Red Cap Company: (010) 67756666 ■ Overseas Code Number: D1545 ■ Overseas Distribution Agent: China International Book Trading Corporation 


2 FEBRUARY 28, 2003 




Special Expats Get longer Stays 

Marc Baillairt receives his three year residence permit from a PSB officer. 

Photo by Zhuang Zhuang 

By Ivy Zhang/ Su Qiang 

A total of 46 expatriates in 
Beijing, hailing from nearly a 
dozen countries, were awarded 
three or five-year residence per- 
mits and multiple-entry visas 
at a ceremony held by Beijing 
Public Security Bureau on 
Tuesday afternoon. 

This is the first time for- 
eign residents have received 
such benefits since the found- 
ing of New China in 1949. It 
also marked the start of a new 
policy that allows certain expa- 
triates in Beijing and their 
families to get residence per- 
mits with durations of two 
to five years. Those permits 
and accompanying visas can be 
issued within one workweek. 

In the past, expatriates 

had to renew their residence 
permits every six months or 
one year. 

Marc Bailliart, chief rep- 
resentative of Air France in 
China, as well as his wife 
and two daughters, received 
a three-year residence permit 
and multi-entry visa. Bailliart, 
who has lived in China for one 
year, called the permits much 
more convenient than previous 

State policy says that for- 
eigners in Beijing who fall in 
one of the following five groups, 
along with their spouse and 
children under the age of 18, 
can receive longer-term resi- 
dence permission: senior con- 
sultants invited by state 
authorities or the local govern- 

ment, and senior management 
or technology staff participat- 
ing in state key projects; indi- 
viduals that have made great 
contributions to Beijing and 
China; senior academic staff 
at Beijing research institutes 
or universities; senior manage- 
ment staff at foreign invested 
companies; and individuals 
who have invested over $3 mil- 
lion in China. 

According to the policy of 
the local public security bureau, 
government-backed foreign stu- 
dents can receive residence per- 
mits with terms of one to four 
years, chief representatives of 
foreign representative offices 
can get one to three year per- 
mits, foreign employees of for- 
eign invested companies and 

their families can get one to two 
year permits, and foreign man- 
agers and technical staff work- 

ing on Sino-foreign oil or gas 
projects can get one to four year 

State Grants Tax Breaks 
to Beijing Olympics 

By Hou Mingxin 

In order to support the 2008 Beijing Olympic 
Games, China’s Ministry of Finance, State Admin- 
istration of Taxation and State Administration of 
Customs have issued a notice which will provide tax 
breaks and special policies to the Beijing Organiz- 
ing Committee for the Games the XXIX Olympiad 
(BOCOG), the International Olympic Committee 
(IOC), the Chinese Olympic Committee, and partic- 
ipants in the Games, according to a Beijing Youth 
Daily reported run on Monday. 

The notice stipulates that athletes competing in 
the games will not need to pay individual income 
taxes on any prize money or other income earned 
during the Beijing Olympics. 

Sponsorship payments in the form of money or 
goods from enterprises and organizations will also 
be exempt from taxation. 

BOCOG will benefit from the new policy through 
the lifting of taxes on its share of television broad- 
casting revenues, money and goods from the IOC’s 
world sponsorship program, income from ticket 
sales and other revenue sources. 

Photo by Wei Tong 

Beng Taping loins 
Olympic Committee 

By Hou Mingxin 

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 
Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) has added 
a new, high-profile member to its staff. At a press 
conference held Monday in Beijing, the committee 
welcomed four-time Olympic gold medal winner 
Deng Yaping to its team. 

Under the title of “Project Expert”, Deng will 
work in BOCOG’s marketing department. Her 
main responsibility is attracting domestic spon- 
sors, according to Hu Chunzheng, a committee 

“Today is my first day at work at the commit- 
tee. It’s an honor to work here, and I feel I am 
up to this new challenge,” Deng said at the press 
conference. She is also a member of the Interna- 
tional Olympic Committee’s Athletes Commission, 
Sports and Environment Commission and Ethics 

“I hope that with my personal influence and 
charm, I can make a contribution to the Beijing 
Olympic Games,” the former table tennis champ 
added. “Of course, doing a good job will take team- 
work and cooperation with my colleagues.” 

Not only an accomplished athlete, Deng received 
a bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University in 
2001, a master’s from Nottingham University in 
the UK in 2002, and is currently pursuing a PhD 
in economics at Cambridge University. 

When asked whether her studies could influ- 
ence her work at BOCOG, she said the job would 
always come first. 

City Sets Up Body to Net Investment 

By Zhao Hongyi 

B eijing has granted admin- 
istrative powers to a new 
bureau in the hopes of 
attracting more overseas invest- 

“The municipal government 
will provide a better and more 
complete range of services to over- 
seas investors currently operat- 
ing in the city and those that 
come in the future,” said Zhang 
Mao, vice mayor in charge of 
the municipality’s overall foreign 
business affairs at the launch of 
the Beijing Investment Promo- 
tion Bureau yesterday. 

The bureau will work in con- 
junction with the Beijing Foreign 
Investment Service Center, an 
organization that provides policy- 
relevant consulting and logistics 

services and recommends invest- 
ment projects and partners to 
prospective foreign investors. The 
new body will offer an even 
wider range of services and hold 
some administrative powers, such 
as “a green channel for invest- 
ment approval”, by which inves- 
tors can finish all registration 
and approval procedures for their 
projects within one day. 

In addition, the bureau will 
focus on coordinating the city’s 
overall efforts to create a better 
environment for overseas inves- 

“The center is a warm club for 
the overseas investors active in 
Beijing,” said Sun Changtai, direc- 
tor-general of the bureau. “We 
hope the new bureau will continue 
that role and reach out to more 

clients and friends.” 

Beijing is home to over 9,000 
enterprises that have received 
investment from overseas sources, 
including 160 Fortune 500 com- 
panies. Most of these enterprises 
are in high-tech industries. More 
than 8,000 overseas companies 
have set up representative offices 
in the capital. 

Zhang told the media the city 
has introduced $18.95 billion of 
overseas investment in the past 
five years, including $5.49 bil- 
lion in 2002 alone. The municipal 
government hopes to encourage 
greater investment in the ser- 
vice and environmental protec- 
tion sectors. 

The bureau has set up a pub- 
lic-accessible website at www. 
fdibeij ing. org. cn . 

Government Eases limits on trade JUs 

By Ema Ma 

T he revised provisions for the 
establishment of joint ven- 
ture import-export firms in 
China, released on January 31 by 
the Ministry of Foreign Trade and 
Economic Cooperation, will go into 
effect next Sunday. 

According to the new policy, for- 
eign investors can establish import 
and export joint ventures after tal- 
lying an annual trading volume 
of $30 million with China over 
three successive years. That restric- 

tion is lowered to $20 million for 
companies that want to establish 
ventures in China’s central and 
western regions, part of the govern- 
ment’s efforts to encourage the eco- 
nomic development of those areas. 

The paid-in-capital requirement 
has also dropped from 100 million 
yuan to 50 million yuan for projects 
in the country’s eastern regions and 
30 million yuan for those in the 
central and western areas. 

In another major change, for- 
eign investors can now hold up to 

49 percent stakes in trading joint 
ventures, nearly double the former 
limit of 25 percent. 

The revisions also allow import- 
export joint ventures to be set up 
nationwide. Previous policy lim- 
ited such companies to Pudong and 
Shenzhen . 

Following the commitments it 
made to become a member of the 
World Trade Organization, China 
will grant all joint venture compa- 
nies free export and import rights 
before the end of 2004. 

Public Schools Open Doors to Foreign Kids 

By Lily Li 

A s of last Saturday, the chil- 
dren of foreign residents of 
Beijing have been allowed 
to enroll in any public primary or 
middle school in the city. As part 
of the policy change, the Beijing 
Municipal Education Commission 
has abandoned the tests previ- 
ously mandatory for prospective 
foreign students. 

In 2002, the number of foreign 
students in kindergartens, pri- 
mary schools and middle schools 
in the city reached 5,000, includ- 

ing 1,800 enrolled at the Beijing 
Shunyi International School. 

Before this policy change, 
international students were only 
allowed entrance into 40 schools. 
That group was made up of four 
schools set up by foreign embas- 
sies, 11 schools funded by foreign 
individuals or agencies like Beijing 
Shunyi International School and 
Western Academy of Beijing, and 
25 Chinese schools approved by 
the Beijing Municipal Education 
Commission, including Beijing 
Huiwen High School, the High 

School Attached to Renmin Uni- 
versity of China, Beijing Huijia 
Private College and Fangcaodi pri- 
mary school. 

Those 25 Chinese schools 
remain the only local public 
schools allowed to recruit students 
from overseas. 

Foreign students in local 
schools will not have to take part 
is political classes and activities. 
Students that succeed in passing 
schools’ final examinations will 
be awarded normal diplomas and 

Compensation Fees Cancelled 
for Students Heading Abroad 

By Hou Mingxin 

T he Ministry of Education 
has decided to abolish its 
policy of charging educa- 
tional compensation fees from Chi- 
nese students seeking to study 
abroad, according to a report pub- 
lished in Beijing Youth Daily last 

As part of the change of policy, 
the ministry has stipulated that 
all compensation fees collected by 
local education administrations 
since November 1, 2002, should 
be returned to the students, the 
report continued. 

The ministry canceled the fees 
and has simplified the proce- 
dures for receiving approval to 
study abroad in keeping with 
a State Council policy issued 
November 1 last year that can- 
celed some administrative exami- 
nations, approval procedures and 

charges for going abroad. 

From 1950 through the early 
1990s, higher education was all 
but free in China, with many stu- 
dents actually receiving govern- 
ment subsidies to support their 
education. With the rapid growth 
of the country’s economy, however, 
free education was deemed incom- 
patible with the demands of a 
market economy. 

In 1996, colleges and univer- 
sities nationwide began charging 
tuition fees, thereby nullifying 
requirements that students head- 
ing abroad compensate the gov- 
ernment for subsidies granted to 
support their studies. 

As the number of Chinese stu- 
dents looking to study abroad 
swelling in the 1980s and early 
1990s, the national government 
in 1993 began charging compen- 
sational fees from students who 

did not complete their mandatory 
state service period, set at three 
years for holders of higher degrees, 
five years for university graduates 
and two years for graduates of 
two-year colleges. The fees ranged 
from several thousand to twenty 
thousand yuan and were allo- 
cated to research projects carried 
out by Chinese scholars that 
returned from abroad, according 
to Ding Hongyu, director of the 
Beijing Education Committee’s 
study abroad office. 

He said, “We have received 
over 300,000 yuan in compensa- 
tion fees from a total of fifty stu- 
dents since last November 1. Last 
Saturday, we returned money to 
four students, and we will issue 
a notice to local universities and 
colleges concerning the return of 
compensation fees in the near 

Petroleum Reserves 
Key to State Security 

By Ema Ma 

Appeals for the establishment of a 
strategic petroleum reserves system 
have reached fevered pitch in the past 
few weeks in China, with the world 
oil price hitting its highest point in 
two years spurred by the looming war 
between the US and Iraq. 

After becoming a net importer of 
petroleum in 1993, the volume of Chi- 
na’s oil imports increased 26 fold by the 
end of 1996. Currently, 30 percent of 
China’s oil supply comes from imports, 
60 percent of which are from the Middle 
East. Customs statistics indicate that 
in 2000, China paid 7.2 billion yuan as 
a result of rising oil prices, the equiva- 
lent of a 0.7 percent GDP drop. 

The threat to national security 
posed by the lack of reserves may be 
more serious than its economic effects. 
China’s current crude oil reserves are 
only enough to sustain productivity 
for 21 days. 

Zhang Dawei, deputy director of the 
Petroleum and Gas Strategy Research 
Center under the Ministry of Land and 
Resources, said in an interview with 
a reporter of China Youth Daily last 
Sunday, “Measures have been taken to 
minimize the potential threat. First, 
we will expand imports from coun- 
tries in the Russian Federation and 
Southeast Asia. Second, the national 
government has already approved the 
construction of a reserves system, 
towards which first stage investment 
will reach 14 billion yuan. And third, 
the Ministry of Land and Resources 
has located ten promising petroleum 
and gas sites in the Songpan-A’ba 
area in Sichuan Province and the 
Qiangtang basin in Tibet.” 

New Website Offers 
Info on AIDS 

By Lily Li 

The Beijing AIDS/STD (Sexually 
Transmitted Diseases) Prevention and 
Control Association opened a new web- 
site,, on Friday last 
week to disseminate information about 
STDs, including AIDS, and related pol- 

“The website is one part of the gov- 
ernment’s efforts to help people with 
HIV/AIDS,” said Guo Jiyong, vice sec- 
retary of the Beijing Health Bureau, at 
the launch ceremony for the website. 

According to Guo, testing of 600,000 
Beijing residents in 2002 showed 428 
people had contracted HIV during a 
one-year period, made up of 66 locals, 
354 people from other provinces and 
eight foreigners. Their ages range from 
20 to 39, and 72 percent of those 
infected are women. 

“Drug use was the top source of 
infection, responsible for 225, or 52.5 
percent, of the cases. Sexual transmis- 
sion was second, responsible for 68 
cases,” added the vice secretary. 

In conjunction with the site, the 
association has also opened a 24-hour 
HIV/AIDS hotline at 6227 5550. 

Group Moves to Stop 
Spread of Spam 

By Su Wei 

On Tuesday, the Collaborative Work- 
shop of the Internet Society of China 
(ISC) held its first working conference 
since being founding in November last 
year. The organization met to kick off 
a campaign to raise the awareness of 
Chinese enterprises and citizens about 
the need to take action against the 
rising tide of junk email, popularly 
called spam, cluttering the Internet. 

In a national survey released by 
the China Internet Network Informa- 
tion Center in January, over half of 
the average 16 emails received by each 
Chinese netizen per week are junk, 
and the proportion is rising every day. 

Huang Chengqing, vice general sec- 
retary of the ISC, said that the orga- 
nization has analyzed the over 3,000 
pieces of spam they have received since 
last November and found most come 
from overseas sources. 

According to Huang, China lags far 
behind most other countries in acting 
against the flood of junk email. 

Workshop employee Wang Yan said 
one of the difficulties facing the new 
domestic campaign is that Chinese 
enterprises and individuals lack an 
awareness of the need to protect them- 
selves from junk email. 

He hopes that the workshop’s newly 
prepared Guide to Refusing Spam will 
help strengthen public awareness by 
teaching people how to detect, prevent 
and report junk email. 



FEBRUARY 28, 2003 



Gl Ignites Acquisition Wave 

By Etna Ma 

The acquisition of the majority in- 
terest in Kvaemer Power Equipment of 
Hangzhou, China by GE Power Systems 
announced last Monday is widely seen 
as the start of a new round of acquisi- 
tions by foreign companies in China. 

The purchase not only marks the 
largest acquisition by GE Power Sys- 
tems in China, but is also the second 
buyout by GE in China since last 
April’s 100 percent share purchase of 
Zhongshan Plastech Sunsheet by GE 

Kvaemer Power Equipment, an eq- 
uity joint venture established in 1995, 
was 61 percent owned by Norwegian 
Kvaemer Energy and 39 percent by 
Chinese State-owned Hangzhou Elec- 

tric Equipment Works (Hangfa). It is 
one of the leading suppliers of hydro- 
power generation equipment in China. 

The new company will be named 
GE Hydro Asia, with GE owning 
90 percent and Hangzhou Industrial 
Asset Management, Hangfa’s parent 
company, holding the remaining 10 

GE’s successful takeover reflects a 
new trend in China’s capital market; 
that is, from establishing a new joint 
venture to more efficient direct acqui- 
sition. According to an analysis report 
issued recently by Morgan Stanley, 
China is growing to be the most ac- 
tive acquisition market in the world, 
with global mergers and acquisitions 
down by 40 percent in 2002. 

The Chinese government is also 
pushing the trend on the policy side, to 
fulfill its commitment to open the mar- 
ket gradually after entering the WTO. 

A series of rules issued one after 
another last November opened the 
floodgates for acquisitions by cash- 
rich foreign investors for shares in 
mainland-listed companies. These in- 
cluded allowing the purchase of unlist- 
ed state-owned and corporate shares 
and dealing in freely traded shares 
by Qualified Foreign Institutional In- 
vestors, and a stipulation on the reor- 
ganization of state-owned enterprises 
with foreign investment. 

Major cities in China have wel- 
comed the regulations: Shanghai has 
announced seven areas that welcome 

foreign investment besides the gen- 
eral investment guidance set by the 
central government. 

Beijing Economic Commission 
spokesman Chang Qing mentioned at 
the press conference on GE Power 
System’s acquisition that Beijing will 
reverse the outdated perception of 
“retaining a controlling stake”. 

In a seminar held in January, Zhou 
Yuqiu, deputy director of Beijing’s 
Economic Commission expressed dis- 
satisfaction with Beijing’s reorgani- 
zation process over the past few 
years, citing the fact that state-owned 
shares still account for 70 percent in 
212 reorganized state owned enter- 
prises, in breach of the original inten- 
tion of the reorganization. 

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates signed an agreement on personal online hanking with Jiang Jianqing (left), president of the Industrial and Commercial Bank 
of China yesterday. Earlier the same day, Gates signed a memorandum with the Beijing government on the city's office information promotion. The three-day 
visit is Gates' eighth to China. 

Intel Moves on Mobile Market 

incentive navel 
to Boost Tourism 

By Shan Jinliang 

Beijing Tourism Bureau has 
listed incentive travel as a top 
priority for boosting inbound 
tourism this year, hiring US 
Kingsway Incentives vice presi- 
dent Issy Scher as the city’s first 
foreign expert to promote the 

Incentive travel refers to over- 
seas trips provided by businesses 
as a reward to high-performing em- 

Wang Qing, the bureau’s mar- 
keting and promotional director 
for meetings, incentive travel, 
conventions and exhibitions, told 
Beijing Today Wednesday that 
higher profits compared with 
other travel categories is a ma- 
jor reason for pushing incentive 
travel as the city’s next tourism 
growth point. He added that the 
slow rise of traditional sightsee- 
ing travel was another factor. 

According to Wang, Beijing’s 
numerous world famous scenic 
and historic sites make it an ide- 
al choice for incentive travel, but 
warned that insufficient quali- 
fied staff and lack of experience 
among domestic travel agencies 
were currently impeding devel- 
opment of the sector. 

Wang said Beijing will intro- 
duce more outside talent and ad- 
vanced expertise to promote the 
business, “we will invite over 50 
professional incentive travel com- 
panies to China, and in the coming 
two years, we also plan to join in a 
few international incentive travel 
organizations to become better ac- 
quainted with the industry.” 

He added a series of free train- 
ing sessions will be conducted for 
local travel agencies, and more 
overseas advertising will be direct- 
ed at incentive travel. 

Meanwhile Scher says he will 
start promoting Beijing’s incen- 
tive travel market next month. 
This will involve taking repre- 
sentatives of several local travel 
agencies on promotional tours to 
Britain and Spain, followed by 
a similar trip to Frankfurt, Ger- 
many in mid April. 

By Shan Jinliang 

Intel China announced Monday it was 
seeking the support of domestic compa- 
nies in its assault on China’s handset 
market, in an attempt to emulate its suc- 
cess in capturing China’s PC market ten 
years ago. 

On February 13, Intel globally 
launched its new PXA800F handset CPU. 
Based on so-called “wireless-Internet-on- 
a-chip” technology, the chip handles com- 
puting, telecommunications and memory, 
and is intended to replace the three chips 
that traditionally control these functions, 
according to the company. 

“We not only sell the chip, but hope 
to build it into an open-framework stan- 
dard, in the same way we have done 
with the current PC,” said Xi Qing, PR 
manager of Intel China. 

No deals with top handset makers 

International Data Group (IDG) News 
Service commented that in the cell-phone 
market, Intel is a newcomer and is striv- 
ing to catch up with market leaders Mo- 
torola and Texas Instruments. 

To gamer international support, the 
company has started talks with some of 

By Chen Ying 

At a press conference Wednesday to 
launch its latest CDMA mobile phone, 
president of Toshiba Mobile Commu- 
nications Tetsuya Mizoguchi said the 
company aimed to become the No. 1 man- 
ufacturer of CDMA handsets in China. 

Mizoguchi said the new model T618X 
is the first CDMA mobile in China that 
can record and transmit documents, in 
the form of a photo or short movie. It also 
supports China Unicorn’s latest high- 
speed data transfer service, called “color 
e,” based on the CDMA- IX system. 

Already one of the top CDMA man- 
ufacturers in Japan, Toshiba started its 
involvement with China’s CDMA mar- 
ket in a joint venture with Nanjing Pos- 
tel, China’s largest mobile manufacturer 
in 2000. 

Nanjing Postel Wong Zhi Telecom- 
munications, which is invested by the 
Beijing based Postel, Toshiba and Wong’s 
Industrial (Hong Kong), began producing 
CDMA handsets last May. The T618X, 
its third and most advanced model, was 
released in Japan last October. 

China last year overtook the US as 

the world’s leading mobile phone makers, 
but no agreements have been reached 
so far, the company says. “We are still 
holding talks with these high-end hand- 
set makers,” said Lai Zhifeng, marketing 
manager of Intel Asia Pacific. 

Seeking to replay PC success 

Intel China invited nine Chinese mo- 
bile phone makers, including Bird, TCL 
and Legend, to attend the press confer- 
ence for the launch of its first wireless 
chip in February, but no foreign manu- 
facturers were present. 

Intel China announced the coopera- 
tion with TCL based on other wireless 
chip technology last April. While on Tues- 
day Capitel’s PR company told Beijing 
Today they have just stopped the talks 
with Intel and would not make any fur- 
ther comments. 

But Intel China said they are still con- 
fident of copying the success in China ten 
years ago in the cooperation with Chi- 
nese computer makers as Legend and 
Founder. Xi said, “These Chinese com- 
puters were quite small then, and now 
they come to dominate the Chinese PC 
market; and we are pretty sure that Chi- 

Toshiba’s Tetsuya Mizoguchi 

the largest mobile consumer, with more 
than 200 million people currently own- 
ing mobiles. But the market remains far 
from saturated, with both local and in- 
ternational manufacturers turning their 
attention to CDMA. 

Nineteen companies now own licens- 
es to produce CDMA handsets in China; 
to succeed, they must learn how to adapt 
to the local market. 

Frost and Sullivan, an international 
consultancy company, released the re- 

nese mobile phone market will be also 
captured by domestic makers, which en- 
joy a high potential for growth.” 

Intel could refer the following figures 
to support its prediction. China’s domes- 
tic mobile phone makers have seized an 
over 25 percent market share in 2002, 
while it was only around 15 percent one 
year ago. A latest survey from the Min- 
istry of Information Industry revealed 
Bird and TCL were directly behind Mo- 
torola and Nokia in China in 2002. 

High price or immature tech 

The chip’s high price is one factor 
that might stand in the way of Intel 
winning further cooperation with local 
mobile phone makers. Although it has 
fallen from US $45 to $35 for bulk pur- 
chases, it is still considered unaccept- 
able by most Chinese manufacturers. 
Intel China maintains the price is justi- 
fied, given that the single chip actually 
handles the functions of three. 

Some IT analysts say the technology, 
rather than the price, would be the major 
hurdle for Intel to achieve its global goal, 
as the company has not had its technol- 
ogy tested by the market. 

suits of its latest research into China’s 
telecommunications market on Febru- 
ary 20. According to the document, 
entertainment will become the new 
point of growth in the CDMA market, 
pointing to how the telecommunica- 
tions business has gradually evolved 
from providing basic voice services to 
providing comprehensive convenience 
and entertainment. 

According to the latest customer 
data published by China Unicom, the 
increase rate of customers has declined 

It may well be time to pay more at- 
tention to developing new mobile func- 
tions and provide a wider range of 
services to satisfy customers’ future 
requirements. As the Frost and Sulli- 
van report says, providing more ser- 
vices can attract more customers in 

“We believe and expect the day 
for entertainment will come to China 
soon,” said Toshiba’s Tetsuya Mizogu- 
chi, expressing the hope that Toshiba 
would have more opportunities to co- 
operate with local operators. 

Toshiba Releases New CDMA Handset 

Minsheng Offers First 
Convertible Corporate Bonds 

By Shan Jinliang 

China’s first private capital controlling bank, 
Minsheng Banking Corporation announced a four- 
billion-yuan convertible corporate bond offering in 
Beijing Wednesday, the first convertible corporate 
bond offering by a bank in China. 

A corporate bond is basically an IOU issued by a 
company that promises to pay a fixed rate of inter- 
est for a given period, and at the end of this period 
investors are repaid the original investment. 

Convertible bonds offer some of the benefits of 
both stocks and bonds since they can earn interest 
even when the stock is trading down or sideways. 
Previously, some Chinese companies have issued 
convertible corporate bonds after they were listed 
on the stock market, but none received positive re- 

The five-year bond has been set with an annual 
face interest of 1.5 percent, and can be converted 
into stock from the sixth month after the offer to 
the expiration date, that is from August 27, 2003 to 
February 27, 2008. 

Chairman of Minsheng’s board, Jing Shuping, 
said earlier that the bank would grow no slower 
this year than it did last year, and the additional 
capital was urgently needed. On Monday, a Beijing 
Times article said the bond issue could be a move 
by Minsheng to strengthen itself before listing in 
Hong Kong or New York early next year. 

The bank’s vice president Wei Shenghong said 
that 60 percent of the capital raised from the bonds 
will be used to support private companies. It will 
also be used to increase its number of branches na- 
tionwide from the current 150, much fewer than 
some of its bigger rivals. 

Bertelsmann China 
Consolidates websites 

By Shan Jinliang 

Bertelsmann China announced Tuesday the 
formal launch of its new website,, 
which combines the company’s two original web- 

Established in 1999, was a 
channel for Bertelsmann Club members to find 
information and purchase products, while, launched in 2001, was a search 
platform accessible to all Internet users. 

The integration is a move to combine the 
strengths of the two and increase efficiency, ac- 
cording to a Bertelsmann China press release. 

“The integration will activate current cus- 
tomers and enforce cross-purchasing activities,” 
said Christian Unger, CEO of Bertelsmann Club 
and BOL China, “and meanwhile, BOL can draw 
more potential customers by sharing the cus- 
tomer base with the club.” The company said in 
the month the new website had been running on 
a trial basis, daily visits rose by 100 percent over 
the same period last year, and daily online re- 
cruitment increased by 50 percent. 

Sohu Seeks Gold 
in Bnine Games 

By Tony Shaw 

Sohu, one of the 
three Chinese portal 
websites listed on the 
Nasdaq announced its 
entry Tuesday into the 
online games market, 
with the release of its 
game Knight Online. 

Of the other two 
portals, Netease has 
been offering online 
games for two years, 
while Sina made its 
debut in the market 
one month ago. Sohu CE0 Charles Zhang 

Sohu said the re- 
lease of its first online game coincides with the fifth 
anniversary of its website (www. sohu. com). 

CEO Charles Zhang has vowed that online 
games will contribute 10 percent of Sohu’s overall 
revenue this year, equal to US $5 million. Analysts 
predict the online games market in China this year 
will be worth over two billion yuan. 

Yarning Beer 
to Sponsor Rockets 

By Hou Mingxin 

US based Harbrew Importers has signed a 
$l-million-a-year, six-year sponsorship deal with 
US National Basketball League team, the Hous- 
ton Rockets, according to a report in Tuesday’s 
Beijing Evening News. 

Harbrew Importers is the sole US importer 
and distributor of Yanjing beer, and the deal is 
the first seven-figure sponsorship coming from a 
Chinese brand, the report said. 

Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, is the main 
reason behind the multi-million dollar deal. The 
2.26-meter-tall (7 foot 5 inch) 22 year old joined the 
Rockets last year as the league’s No. 1 draft pick, 
and NBA executives believe the towering center 
has huge marketing potential in the first decade in 
21st century, comparable to Magic Johnson, Larry 
Bird and Michael Jordan in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Yanjing beer now has courtside advertise- 
ments at the Compaq Center, the Rockets’ home 
arena in Houston, promoting Yanjing in English 
and Chinese, and the beer is sold at the arena 
during games. 


4 FEBRUARY 28, 2003 




Tackle Deflation, Japan Tells G7 

Paris, February 21 (Reuters) - Japanese 
Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa urged the 
Group of Seven to combat deflationary pressures 
around the world that could worsen if a war on 
Iraq began. 

“If the so-called geopolitical risks materialize, 
a major concern is that deflation around the 
world will become more serious,” Shiokawa said 
to finance ministers and central bank chiefs from 
the G7 countries. 

Although he did not mention China by name, 
his repeated remarks recently about the need 
for G7 to discuss foreign exchange liberalization 
have been taken by financial markets as refer- 
ring to the yuan. 

Shiokawa has said in the past that he thought 
the yuan, which is effectively pegged to the US 
dollar, was too weak given China’s economic fun- 
damentals and should be revalued or floated at 
some point. 

China’s Finance Minister Defends Yuan 

Beijing, February 19 (Dow Jones Newswires)- 
China’s Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng has 
defended the value of the yuan against calls for 
a revaluation, arguing the impact of the currency 
on the Japan and US economies has been over- 

In a wide-ranging interview with the Finnish 
newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Xiang pointed out 
the US economy is about 8-9 times larger than 

the Chinese economy. 

“Chinese exports to the United States are only 
a couple of per cent of the total US imports,” 
Xiang said. “Therefore the Renminbi has only a 
limited impact on the US economy. And the Chi- 
nese economy is only a quarter of the size of the 
Japanese economy.” 

With Japan’s economy still in the doldrums, 
Japanese government officials have urged a reval- 
uation of the yuan. 

US officials and the International Monetary Fund 
have also suggested China consider eventually allow- 
ing more flexibility within the managed float cur- 
rently used to determine the value of the yuan. 

Analysts’ Take: 

Dr Dong Tao, Senior Regional Economist , 
Credit Suisse First Boston 

A revaluation of the Renminbi to 5:1 against 
the US dollar is possible in the mid-to-long term 
between 2006 and 2008, but not in the short term. 

China still has a huge number of low-skilled 
laborers in the countryside. This ready supply of 
cheap labor will keep China competitive. 

China is facing deflationary pressure. But 
domestic consumption could be shifted to durable 
goods like houses, autos and PCs, rather than 
imports, which would ease that pressure. 

-China Economic Times , February 24, 2003 

China Uses Inflation to Stimulate Growth 

Since the second quarter of 2002, China has 
steadily increased monetary injection into the econ- 
omy, aiming at creating a positive environment for 
a new round of reforms in its financial industry 
and reducing the pressure of deflation to offset calls 
for a revaluation of the yuan. 

The People's Bank of China's January report 
disclosed last week that domestic deposits in banks 
soared by one trillion yuan in the first month, 
reaching 9.81 trillion. The cause, argues the report, 
was the continued increase of monetary injection 
by the central bank. 

In the same month, China's average price for pro- 
duction means increased by 4.8 percent over Janu- 
ary last year and 0.9 percent over last December. The 
price is expected to increase further this year. 

Song Guoqing, professor of the Research Center 
of China's Economy, an institute of Beijing Uni- 
versity, explained that monetary injection is the 
third tool to be used by the Chinese government 
to offset deflationary pressure and keep continous 
growth. Previously it tried reducing credit loans 
and cutting deposit interest rates but these mea- 
sures proved ineffective. 

The most critical point lies ahead, said Mr. 
Song, in the ability of the financial administration 
of China to keep inflation in an acceptable and 
manageable range. 

-Business Post , February 22, 2003 

Financial Winter Arrives in London 

Two clients at ATMs in downtown London 
Monday this week, while a homeless person waits 
for their mercy in the middle. 

The fourth quarter of 2002 saw the largest fall 
in transaction fall in volume since 1992 in London's 

financial industry. 

The Confederation of British Industry esti- 
mates the industry will cut at least 22,000 jobs in 
the first three months of this year. 

Xinhua Photo 

Security Tops IT 
Priority list 

San Jose, California, February 20 
( - As the threat of war 
looms and the government mulls imposing 
tighter restrictions on information technology, 
security is shaping up to be the most critical 
IT priority for the software market in 2003, 
according to a new survey by Dataquest, a unit 
of technology consultants Gartner. 

Manufacturers rated security as the most 
important IT project, followed by enterprise 
resource planning (ERP), including upgrades and 
extensions. Web services came in at No. 3. Secu- 
rity also topped the list of IT spending priorities 
in a recent survey of chief information officers by 
investment bank Morgan Stanley. 

Analysts’ Take: 

Wang Xiaochun, IT security engineer, 
CNNIC ( China Internet Network Informa- 
tion Center) 

The market for IT security software prod- 
ucts is expected to grow rapidly and become 
more profitable in years to come. 

Terrorist attacks, intellectual property rights 
protection and business secrets protection, mali- 
cious attacks and hackers' harassment are the 
major factors behind the trend. 

The US government released “ National Strat- 
egy to Secure Cyberspace'' on February 14, recom- 
mending a national cyberspace security response 
system and requiring all US companies to further 
secure their websites. 

Microsoft said it would release software this 
summer allowing corporations to control access 
to sensitive internal documents, such as finan- 
cial statements and e-mail. The new software 
will allow users to control access to documents 
they have created, including whether the docu- 
ment can be forwarded, copied, or printed and 
whether a recipient can hold it indefinitely, or 
if it will expire after a certain time. 

Last year, Microsoft launched the “ Trustwor- 
thy Computing'' initiative, a bid to make net- 
works more secure and to head off criticism the 
company's own software has been too vulner- 
able to attack. 

Ruble Rumblings from Russia 

Moscow, February 20 ( - 
Emboldened by the unprecedented strength of its 
currency, which is rising against the hard cur- 
rencies of the west for the first time in recent 
memory, the Russian government is mulling gran- 
diose plans for the ruble, including making it 
fully convertible internationally and using it as 
the basis of a monetary union with Kazakhstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Belarus. 

“It is possible and it is time to think of a uni- 
fied currency system for the Eurasian Economic 
Union,” Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov told 
the leaders of the five-member EEU during their 
summit in Moscow last week. 

Kasyanov’s remarks came just a day before 
the Cabinet is scheduled to debate the Economic 
Development and Trade Ministry’s blueprint for 
growth through 2005, which calls for, among other 
things, “securing full convertibility of the national 
currency in the near future.” 

That is, the ministry wants the ruble to join 
the buck, euro, yen and pound as permanent fea- 
tures on exchange-rate boards in banks around 
the world as soon as possible. 

Analysts’ Take: 

Li Yunhua, researcher, Institute for Studies 
of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences 

The ruble will not become internationally con- 
vertible in the foreseeable future, even though it is 
convertible within Russia. 

First, the Russian economy is too fragile. 
The country relies heavily on its natural energy 
resources exports, mainly oil and gas. 

The high oil price on the world market in 
the past several years eased Russia's foreign debt 
burden and supported its economic growth. Unfor- 
tunately, it is not sustainable. A fluctuation in the 
oil price will interrupt the increase of Russia's 
hard currency income. 

Second, Russia's domestic economy lacks dyna- 

Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Kazakh 
President Nursultan Nazarbayev AP Photo 

mism and demand. Its economy has not entered 
a stable growth track so it cannot provide a 
clear prospect. Neither is the business environ- 
ment transparent. 

Third, Russia has not yet become a World Trade 
Organization member and has no credit for its 
ruble on the world market. 

But we cannot dismiss the possibility, either. 
Technically, there is no problem for a country 
to make its currency convertible on the world 
market today. The problem is that even if the ruble 
becomes convertible, demand for it is still low. 

The ruble should be convertible one day. But 
before that, you need to eliminate all sorts of 
restrictions on the movements of investments. But 
in Russia, if these restrictions are removed, there 
is always a danger of quick capital outflow. 

A third possibility is that the ruble will be the 
only circulated currency in the five member coun- 
tries of the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, 
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Belarus. 
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev expects 
the ruble could once again become the principal 
currency in the region by 2011. But being the single 
currency of those five countries is not the same 
thing as a convertible ruble. What's more, the Rus- 
sia-Belarus monetary union has not yet been estab- 
lished after nearly a decade of discussion. 

Bush Wants $95 Billion 
to Cover Cost of War 

New York, February 26 (Reuters) - The Bush 
administration is preparing supplemental spending 
requests totaling as much as $95 billion for a war 
with Iraq. 

The $95 billion would be to cover a war, its after- 
math and new expenses to fight terrorism, officials 
told the newspaper. The total could be as low as 
$60 billion because Pentagon budget planners don’t 
know how long a conflict will last. 

Iraq’s oil reserves are second in size only to 
Saudi Arabia’s, and US officials say money from 
them could be instrumental in rebuilding Iraq and 
could lower the total cost of the conflict. 

US to Release Oil Reserves if Needed 


February 25 

(Reuters) - US 
Energy Secretary 
Spencer Abra- 
ham said the 
United States 
was ready to act 
quickly to release 
emergency oil 

reserves if neces- 
sary to offset any disruption to Middle East sup- 
plies in the event of war with Iraq. 

The US emergency oil stockpile was created in 
1975 and currently has about 600 million barrels of 
crude oil stored in deep underground salt caverns 
in Texas and Louisiana. It can be drawn at a rate of 
4.3 million barrels a day for 90 days. 

Crude prices have in recent weeks risen to two-year 
highs on fears that a war in Iraq, the world’s eighth 
largest oil exporter, could slow supplies from the Middle 
East, which pumps a third of the world’s oil. 

Reuters Photo 

Merrill Lynch wa Pay $80M 
to Settle Enron Case 

February 21 (USA Today) - Merrill Lynch exec- 
utives said the firm will pay $80 million to settle 
a Securities and Exchange Commission investiga- 
tion of its questionable financial deals with energy 
trader Enron in 1999. 

The tentative settlement, if approved by SEC 
commissioners, will end the agency’s investigation 
into several energy trades between Merrill and 
Enron, plus a $7 million investment made by Mer- 
rill into three Enron power-generating barges off 
Nigeria’s coast. 

As part of the settlement, the brokerage firm 
also agreed to an SEC injunction barring the firm 
from future violations of federal securities laws. 

(Edward Iwata) 

Japan Chooses New 
Central Bank Head 

Tokyo, February 25 
(AP) - The nomination 
of central bank “old boy” 

Toshihiko Fukui to the 
job of Japan’s top banker 
probably signals more of 
the same in monetary 
policy, snuffing out hopes 
for decisive action to fight 
the nation’s economic 
slide, analysts say. 

The silver-haired 
Fukui is a former Bank 
of Japan deputy gover- 
nor, who earned the nick- 
name “Prince of the BOJ” 

over his 40 years at the bank. Now head of a think 
tank, Fukui, 67, has strong ties with corporate exec- 
utives and was widely considered the ideal pick by 
business circles. 

But financial markets and some analysts had 
hoped for someone who would shake up the central 
bank to tackle Japan’s decade-old slump blamed 
on spiraling prices. Fukui, whose selection was 
announced Monday, is widely expected to continue 
the policies of his predecessor, Masaru Hayami, 77. 
Hayami’s five-year term ends March 19. 

Toshihiko Fukui 

Xinhua Photo 

New York, February 26 (Reuters) - New York officials 
have decided on a post-9- 11 design concept by renowned 
German-based architect Daniel Libeskind ahead of the 
other finalist team of New York architects led by Rafael 
Vinoly and Frederic Schwartz who envisaged a pair of 
matching latticework skyscrapers. 

Libeskind’s proposed design is a 70-story office build- 
ing with “Gardens of the World” on the top floor high above 
office level. The plan calls for a tower 1,776 feet high - sym- 
bolizing the year of US independence. 

There is still expected to be more debate and refinement 
of the plan, and officials have estimated construction will 
begin in 2005 at the earliest. Xinhua / AP Photo 

# CITY ^ 


FEBRUARY 28, 2003 



Subways Subject of Safety Concern 

By Su Wei 

The Beijing Fire Fighting Bureau expressed 
their determination to improve the safety condi- 
tions in all local subway trains and stations at a 
press conference last Friday 

An official of the bureau who requested ano- 
nymity said that inspections of the fire preven- 
tion and safety conditions of the city’s subway 
and light rail systems have found the fire-fight- 
ing equipment currently installed to be “basical- 
ly sound,” though some breathing masks set up 

for use by rescue personnel need to be replaced. 

“The subway has been a focus of ours for a 
long time, and we have run several fire drills un- 
der a variety of supposed conditions to make sure 
we can keep the system safe,” he said. The official 
added that more tests of smoke discharging and 
extinguishing equipment are scheduled. 

According to a February 22 report in the 
Beijing Morning Post , the bureau’s Standards 
for Installing Signs for Fire-fighting and Evacu- 
ation Safety will take effect in the near future. 

That regulation stipulates that new buildings 
must have illuminated emergency signs in- 
stalled in the walls and floors of all evacuation 
routes. Wall signs must be spaced under 10 me- 
ters apart and floor signs under five meters 
apart to allow people to crawl to safety in case 
of a fire. 

The report continues that because most emer- 
gency lights installed to date are ceiling-mount- 
ed, they could be obscured by smoke in fires and 
make it difficult for people to escape. 

Campus life Returns 
to Normal After IWo 
Cafeteria Bombings 

By Su Wei 

Bombs crafted from homemade dynamite ex- 
ploded in two dining halls at Tsinghua University 
and Beijing University in midday on Tuesday, in- 
juring nine people. 

An unnamed spokesman for the Beijing Munic- 
ipal Public Security Bureau said later that day 
that none of those injured have died. 

“We are conducting an intense investigation 
and will spare no effort in trying to find who 
is responsible for these two incidents,” said the 
spokesman. “All we are free to say at present 
is what has been released by the Xinhua News 

The bomb at Tsinghua University went off at 
around 11:50 am in the Heyuan Dining Hall, 
which sits in the center of campus. At the time, 
over 30 people were having their lunch in the hall. 
Four of the six people injured in the blast are 
teachers and the two other are students. 

Two of the three people hurt when the second 
bomb exploded at 1:20 pm in Beijing University’s 
Nongyuan Dining Hall, the largest on campus, 
have been identified as cafeteria employees, and 
the third a student from Haidian Non-residential 
University who was looking for a job at the time. 

Xinhua reported that by that evening, life had 
basically returned to normal on the two campuses, 
except that both dining halls have been sealed off 
by the Beijing police. 

Ancient Hutong 
Slated for Saving, 
not Razing 

By Iris Miao 

A plan to renovate Sanyanjing Hutong near 
Jingshan Park, one of the 25 protected historical 
and cultural areas in Beijing, calls not for the 
wrecking ball, but for careful efforts to restore the 
ancient street’s traditional architecture. 

The East- West lane to the northeast of Jing- 
shan East Street in Dongcheng district contains 
hundreds of pingfang, one-story houses, and is 
home to 1,800 people. One fifth of the total area of 
the street is up for renovation. 

The plan is the first to center on restoring 
traditional Bejiing courtyard design since 1949. 
The public can check out and offer opinions 
on the plan through the website of the Beijing 
Municipal Commission of Urban Planning at 
www. bj gh w. gov. cn . 

By Tony 

By Cao Boyuan 

Bride Enjoys 
Royal Treatment 

By Lily Li 

Sanlitun bar street went 
through a romantic time 
warp last Saturday morning, 
as bride Zhang Zhujing, 
seated in a traditional 
Chinese sedan chair, was 
carried down the road by 
eight porters to the 
accompaniment of a folk 

band, two people carrying 
large red umbrellas and two 
lion dancers. 

Zhang’s new husband, 
Liu Xi, said, “Altogether 
there are 22 people 
accompanying the bride. 
Today is February 22, and 
January 22 in the lunar 
calendar. My family wants 

the two of us to start a 
happy life together on this 
auspicious day with this 
wonderful wedding 

The sedan chair, 
previously used as a movie 
prop, was borrowed from 
the Beijing Stage Costume 

Sordid love Triangle Turns Deadly 

By Chen Ying 

The bodies of two 30-year-old male murder 
victims were discovered two kilometers apart in 
Shidu County, Fangshan District on February 16 
and 17. 

The story behind the killings is straight 
from the pages of a cheap femme fatale thriller 

The two men have been identified as Su Li 
and He Quan, both from Zhuozhou, Hebei Prov- 
ince. The Fangshan police have determined that 
He murdered Su on February 15, and then was 
killed himself the next day by another party. 

Investigators quickly marked Su Li’s wife, Hu 
Ling, as a main suspect after the identities of the 
bodies were determined. 

Under interrogation, Hu confessed to the police 
on Tuesday last week that she hired He to kill her 
husband, and then she had other men murder He 
to make sure he would not betray her. 

Hu said that after marrying Su, she fell in 
love with Song Dong, the boss of a coal factory in 
Zhuozhou, six years ago. 

Su found out about his wife’s affair, but despite 
her demands, refused to grant her a divorce. 

Last October, Hu asked Song to kill her hus- 
band, because she did not want to live with him 
any more. She told her lover she would break up 
with him if he did not go through with the mur- 
der. Later that month, Su’s right arm was broken 
by a group of Song’s friends. 

Enraged by the attack, Su told his wife that he 
was going to buy a gun and kill her lover. 

Hu and Song then decided to hire Lu Yong, an- 
other friend of Song’s, to kill Su. After tracking 
Su for 20 days, however, Lu never found a good 
opportunity to do the hit. 

The plot then thickened with the entrance of 
He Quan, another man enamored with Hu, who 
told her he would help her kill her husband. 

He called Su last month, claiming he could 
help him get his hands on a gun. On February 
15, He told Su he could pick up the firearm in 
Dashakan village, located between Zhuozhou and 
Fangshan District. He and Lu Yong were waiting 
at the arranged meeting site, and when Su ar- 
rived, they stabbed him to death and threw his 
body in a ditch. 

However, Hu was afraid that He would reveal 
her identity, so she asked Lu to kill him. The day 
after the first murder, Hu invited He over for din- 
ner with Song and Lu. She slipped rat poison 
into He’s drink, causing him to lose conscious- 
ness. The murderous trio then stabbed and blud- 
geoned him to death with a knife and iron rod, 
loaded his body into a car and drove to Shidu 
County, where they dumped him. 

Song and Lu were captured on Saturday of 
last week onboard a train headed to Shanxi 

Cao Ming’s right hand got caught in the taxi’s front window. 

By Sun Jinglong 

Policeman Dragged 
by Fleeing Taxi 

By Lily Li 

Cao Ming, a policeman in the Hujialou team of 
the Chaoyang Traffic Patrol, was dragged 20 meters 
down a road by a taxi at 12:30 am on Thursday last 

The driver of the taxi was arrested the next day. 

It was the first case of resistance and assault 
against a police officer in the capital this year. 

While on duty at an intersection on Ritan Lu, 
Cao saw a red Xiali taxi enter the bike lane to avoid 
a traffic jam and take right turn. He immediately 
approached the car and told the driver to show his 
license through the left front window of the car. 
However, the car, which had been slowing down, 
suddenly accelerated. 

“I never imagined the driver would take off. I was 
totally unprepared,” Cao told Beijing Today. 

The policeman was reaching through the car’s 
window and got caught when the driver tried to 
make his break. Cao ran to keep up, but was even- 
tually dragged forward, though he was able to stay 
on his feet. When the driver slowed momentarily, 
Cao pulled his hand from the window and fell to the 

“The car pulled me a long way. I was pretty lucky 
there were no other cars around when I fell down,” 
said the police officer. 

He was then rushed to a nearby hospital, where 
examinations showed he had suffered injuries to his 
neck, waist, right hand and right knee. The walkie- 
talkie Cao was carrying in his right hand was also 

Li Shuhai, the taxi driver, accelerated away after 
Cao fell. Through the car’s license plate number, 
other traffic police easily tracked down its owner, 
Beijing Yinshan Taxi Company. They called the busi- 
ness, and at 4:30 pm the same day, Li turned himself 
in to the Traffic Bureau to accept punishment, ac- 
companied by leaders of the taxi company. 

“I knew the policeman was very close to the car, 
but I didn’t know I was pulling him and knocked 
him down,” said Li. “I tried to get away to avoid the 
fine for my traffic violation, which would be three 
points on my license and a fine of 50 yuan to 200 

Li and his company said they would accept all le- 
gal punishment for the incident, which will be set af- 
ter the seriousness of Cao’s injuries is determined. 

Pissed Pigeon Owner 
Sues for Prize 

By Lily Li 

Pride and prize money are behind a bird-based 
lawsuit filed last Thursday in a local court. 

Wu Wenxin, owner of two racing pigeons, is suing 
the Jinglong Pigeon Game Club and Beijing Post Pi- 
geon Association because they disqualified his birds 
after they placed high in a race held last fall and 
shorted him a sizeable cash award. 

Wu’s pigeons took first and thirteenth place in 
the Young Pigeons Flying Over Shanghaiguan con- 
test organized by the club and the association on 
October 1 and 2 last year, clocking in at average 
speeds of nearly 1.2 kilometers and 1 kilometer per 

The pigeons’ trainer looked forward to a total of 
5,500 yuan in cash prizes for his birds’ performanc- 
es, but the race organizers ended up disqualifying 
his birds on the grounds that no pigeon can fly that 
fast, and refused to turn over the money. 

“I’m suing them not only for breach of contract, 
but also because they released news that I cheated 
without any evidence and without my approval,” 
said Wu. 

A Beijing Post Pigeon Association spokesman sur- 
named Huang responded, “Wu’s winning pigeon flew 
152 meters per minute faster than the second-place 
bird, which is impossible in this kind of long-dis- 
tance competition.” 

Hearings of the case were held this week and will 
continue next month. 


6 FEBRUARY 28, 2003 




Dudley Do Wrong 

Deleting the words 
needn’t necessarily 
weaken the spirit of 
doing good deeds. On 
the contrary , it will 
promote the spirit of 
doing good deeds in 
a more careful and 
rational way. 

— Liang Yongping 

It’s good that some 
words, such as 
“inform adults” or 
“understand how to 
protect yourself’, 
appear in the new 
student regulations. 
But I still feel some 
key words shouldn’t 
be deleted because 
they don’t contradict 
the new words. They 
are all based on 

— Qin Chao 

By Chen Ying/ Sun Ming 

W ould you help someone 
if it meant getting into a 
risky situation? Prima- 
ry and middle school students in 
Beijing are about to benefit from 
new guidelines on this tricky 

For the last 21 years, students 
have been presented with a han- 
dy pamphlet on moral and be- 
havioral issues entitled “New 
Students Daily Behavior Regu- 
lations”. These guidelines have 
encouraged “daring to struggle” 
and “doing good deeds, even when 
risky”. But these two points have 
just been deleted from the new 
version which will be presented 
starting from this semester. 

The new regulations advise 
students to report rather than in- 
tervene in any deviant behavior, 
and learn how to protect them- 

Other cities will soon follow 
Beijing’s lead in amending their 
moral statutes to suit the times. 

Unfortunately, the new reg- 
ulations contradict a policy im- 
plemented in Beijing in 2001 
whereby middle school students 
can obtain 20 points towards their 
entrance examination to univer- 
sities if they do a good deed that 
involves some risk. 

The changing of the regula- 
tions has aroused heated debate 
among right-thinking people all 
over the country. 

Some people think it’s a sign of 
social advancement, while others 
think it’s a moral copout. 

Should the words “Do good 
deeds, even when risky” be delet- 
ed from the students regulations? 
Opinions follow: 

Liang Yongping, 
secretary general, China 
Foundation for Justice and 

I think this is a kind of social 

Our foundation always tries to 
stay low key in honoring teenag- 

ers for their good deeds. Since we 
started in 1993, we have received 
many cases nationwide about ex- 
cellent teenagers, such as young 
people who have helped in fire 
fighting and life saving. But we 
only choose special cases to honor. 
There’s a danger that young chil- 
dren will try to imitate some of 
the riskier actions. They may also 
lack the ability to judge the level 
of danger in an emergency. 

The decision to delete the words 
is similar to a decision made by 
the local authorities in Guangdong 
last October banning the mobili- 
zation of middle school students 
to participate in fire fighting. 

It’s very important to have the 
right attitude towards good deeds. 
It’s our duty to let students know 
they should not only have the 
courage to face difficulties but that 
they should also be wise. 

I think deleting the words 
needn’t necessarily weaken the 
spirit of doing good deeds. On the 
contrary, it will promote the spirit 
of doing good deeds in a more care- 
ful and rational way. It’s a kind 
of active and flexible measure to 
participate in and maintain so- 
cial order by requiring pupils to 
report bad behavior or crime in- 
stead of involving themselves in 
it directly. 

Qin Chao, 

reporter, Star Daily 

I still remember my parents 
never forgot the word “bravery” 
as part of the blessing for me on 
my birthday when I was a child. 
They wanted me to be a brave boy. 
As my father told me continuous- 
ly, I knew to be a brave person 
I should have a righteous heart. 
He also said fighting with villains 
face to face was not the only way 
to help others. Telling the police or 
teachers when others need help is 
also a kind of good deed. 

I visited one of my neighbors 
one day and saw a couple who 
were worrying about how to get 
their cat down from the window. 

My neighbor told me a mouse had 
frightened the cat because it had 
never seen a mouse before. So 
I understood even a cat needed 
practice to improve its courage. 

I think it’s similar with kids. 
How are they going to be brave if 
they’ve never needed to be or been 
taught about it? 

Some would say it would be a 
tragedy if a child was killed while 
fighting a fire. That may be true. 
Maybe the kid would have sur- 
vived if it had looked out for itself. 
But at least the child would have 
had courage. 

I think it’s good that some 
words, such as “inform adults” or 
“understand how to protect your- 
self’, appear in the new student 
regulations. But I still feel some 
key words shouldn’t be deleted 
because they don’t contradict the 
new words. They are both based 
on courage. 

Li Qin, 

vice-president of Shishi 
United Middle School 

It’s not realistic to advocate 
students doing good deeds now- 
adays. Beijing’s new regulations 
reflect the changes in social atti- 
tudes to education. Now, most stu- 
dents are the only child in their 
families. Their ability to look out 
for themselves is rather weak. 
They lack the ability to evaluate 
and anticipate danger. It has be- 
come a social problem. Though it’s 
really necessary to cultivate stu- 
dents’ sense of justice, the most im- 
portant thing is that they should 
know how to be careful. Helping 
others wisely is of secondary im- 
portance. Never encourage them 
to do what they can’t do. 

Teaching children how to sur- 
vive is one of the most important 
aspects of education. But it needs 
to be addressed more carefully in 
contemporary education. For in- 
stance, my daughter is glad to 
help others. One day, she saw an 
older student ask a younger one 
for money. To help the younger 

student, she gave her own money 
to the older one. She was happy 
and thought she had done a good 
deed when she told me the story. 
We should teach the kids how to 
make the right judgment when 
they become involved in this kind 
of situation. 

Zhao Xiaoguang, 

first grader at Beijing No. 1 

Middle School 

Even though the new regula- 
tions don’t encourage us to strug- 
gle with bad things and take risks, 
I still admire brave people who do 
good deeds without hesitation. 

Lei Kun, 

a company manager 

The words about taking risks 
to do good deeds shouldn’t be de- 
leted. In my view, there are differ- 
ent degrees of risks. In situations 
which are not that dangerous, stu- 
dents should come out bravely. For 
example, if one student was beat- 
ing another, somebody should try 
to stop the fight at once. But if 
someone threatens somebody with 
a knife or a gun, the situation 
is very dangerous. In this case, 
students should report the case 
first. They shouldn’t fight, because 
there is no use. So according to dif- 
ferent situations, students can de- 
cide whether to take action. 

Xu Xuemei, 

PR manager of a foreign 
owned enterprise 

It’s improper to delete these 
words from the students’ regula- 
tions. It’s more like a kind of spirit 
to advocate doing good deeds, not 
a practical instruction. 

Besides, how many times are 
students presented with situa- 
tions in which they need to take 
a risk to do a good deed? Very 
rarely. The idea of doing good 
deeds even at risk is a kind of 
inspiration, which can influence 
people for their whole life if the 
spirit is instilled in them whey 
they are young. 


“ There may well he a time 
for military action. But at the 
moment the timetable ap- 
pears to he determined hy the 
decisions of the President of 
the United States and not hy 
the logic of events” 

— Chris Smith, a former min- 
ister in British Prime Minister 
Tony Blair’s cabinet, speaking 
during a parliamentary vote on 
Wednesday over tackling Iraq. 
Blair won the vote by 393 to 
199. Embarrassingly for Blair, 
122 of the 199 parliamentari- 
ans who disagreed with his ap- 
proach to the Iraq crisis came 
from his own party — more than 
a quarter of the total in parlia- 
ment — dwarfing any previous 
internal rebellion he has faced 
in nearly six years in power. 

“I think this is another ex- 
ample of the regime of North 
Korea taking escalatory ac- 
tions in order to gain con- 
cessions. We seek a peaceful 
diplomatic solution, hut all 
options remain on the table ” 

— Sean McCormack, the 
White House National Securi- 
ty Council spokesman regard- 
ing reports that North Korea 
has restarted a nuclear reac- 
tor at Yongbyon. 

“Many multinationals find 
themselves in the unenviable 
position of educating both 
local users and local service 
providers on the value of IT 

— Jacqueline Heng, ana- 
lyst from Gartner, a market- 
research firm expecting that 
China’s market for information- 
technology services will grow 
18% this year to $4.9 billion 
as companies like banks and 
telecommunications operators 
spend to upgrade their sys- 
tems. Despite the fast growth, 
China remains a challenging 
market for providers of IT ser- 
vices, as many local compa- 
nies tend to focus more on 
buying hardware rather than 

By Chen Ying 

Who Are You Calling a DogP 

Nanjing customer criticizes mobile phone greeting words “Hello Chow” 

By Lily Li 

Red faces all round at China 
Electronics Corporation Telecom 
(CECT) this week. The company 
thought it had hit upon a groovy 
greeting for its new CECT928 
mobile phone. 

When people switched it on, 
the words “Hello Chow” flashed 
up on the screen. Gimmicks like 
this are popular in the phone mar- 
ket and the right one can ensure a 
product’s success. But CECT were 
in for a nasty surprise. 

The problem started last week 
when a woman surnamed Dong 
decided the words ‘’Hello Chow” 
were an outrageous insult. She 
had been curious about the mean- 
ing of the words since buying her 
phone on February 13. So she 
looked up the word “chow” in the 
dictionary and was shocked and 
disturbed to discover it meant 
“dog raised in China”. 

The thought of being greeted 
everyday with the words “Hello, 
Chinese dog” enraged Ms Dong. 
“I was speechless. I became quite 
incoherent,” she says. So she 
took her story to a Nanjing news- 
paper named Modern Express to 

It instantly became headline 
news and anger quickly spread 
among other Chinese people, es- 
pecially buyers of the CECT928. 
Website chat rooms were 
swamped with comments like, 
“This is a humiliation for Chi- 
nese people!” and, “We must pro- 
test at CECT’s betrayal of the 

CECT hurriedly tried to res- 
cue the situation. On February 
18, Zhang Hongyu, CFO of CE- 
CT’s Beijing branch, flew to 
Nanjing to apologize face to face 
with Ms Dong. He explained 

on behalf of the company that 
they had never intended to 
cause offence. 

Beijing Today looked up the 
word in the Oxford English Dic- 
tionary and found “chow” had 
two meanings: first, a slang word 
for food; second, a Chinese breed 
of long-haired dog. 

“We thought it meant ‘Hello, 
lovely pet dog,”’ said Zhang, 
a greeting the company pre- 
sumably thought would appeal 
to young consumers. “Greeting 
words in the screens of mobile 
phones are very popular nowa- 
days, such as ‘Hello the World’, or 
‘Hello Nokia.’” 

“It’s just like ‘Hello Kitty’ 
which means ‘Hello, lovely pet 
cat,”’ Zhang continued. “‘Hello 
Kitty’ is a popular greeting in 
America and all over the world,” 
he claimed. 

Ms Dong was satisfied with 
the company’s apology and ac- 
cepted Zhang’s explanation that 
the company hadn’t considered 
the potential offense of the 
word “dog”. 

On February 19 the company 
issued a profuse apology, saying 
“We are a Chinese phone compa- 
ny and it is absolutely not our in- 
tention to insult our consumers. 
The words were just intended 
as a cute greeting.” The compa- 
ny promised to open a toll-free 
hotline for any questions or com- 
plaints and offered a free soft- 
ware upgrade to all customers 
who were still angry about the 
words in the greeting. 

“Our products are geared to- 
wards the high-end market, espe- 
cially successful business people,” 
said Cen Hanrong, general man- 
ager of the marketing and tech- 
nology department at GrandTech, 

a partner of CECT. “I am sure 
these educated people will come 
to a rational understanding of the 
‘Hello Chow’ affair.” 

The word “chow” is popular 
among Western people too, ac- 
cording to Barbara Helen, a for- 
eign editor at China Daily. “It 
was one of the 100 most popular 
names in the United States in 
1999 for young parents naming 
their baby.” 

Is “Hello Chow” really offen- 
sive? Should people get so upset 
about a certain meaning of a 

word? Does this deserve so much 
attention? Opinions follow: 

Steve Hill, creator of Salsa 

“Chow” can refer to a type of 
Chinese dog, or to food. “Ciao” 
(which is pronounced the same) is 
also an Italian word meaning hel- 
lo or goodbye. Sometimes we say 
“ciao for now”, or Italians might 
say “ciao bella” (hello beautiful) to 
their girlfriend. Word confusions 
— such as between British and 
American English — can be con- 

fusing and amusing, but people 
should not take offence. 

Xu Qian, employee at China 
Telecom Beijing Research 

I didn’t see the mobile phone 
but CECT is a Chinese company 
so I don’t believe it intended 
to insult people. A mistake like 
this doesn’t mean the company 
doesn’t love the country. CECT 
only took the wrong marketing 
promotion measure, and we 
shouldn’t be too hard on it. 

Tong Ge, administrative 
assistant at Beijing Zhongli 
Culture Development Co. 

If it’s just a sentence a per- 
son says, we can forgive him, be- 
cause he maybe really doesn’t 
know the meaning of the word 
“chow”. But when a company 
uses it to attract customers, I re- 
gard it as an offense. According 
to the explanations of the com- 
pany, they took “chow” as “pet 
dog” instead of “Chinese dog”. 
What’s the difference? Both are 
dogs! How could a mobile phone 
company greet its customers by 
saying “Hello dog”? Calling cus- 
tomers dogs is obviously disre- 
spectful. A public apology is the 
only thing for CECT to do. 

Hector Mackenzie, foreign 
editor for China Daily 

Words can often cause con- 
fusion — especially when there 
is some misunderstanding as to 
their exact meaning. In China, 
for example, some foreigners take 
offense if they are referred to by 
Chinese as laowai. The literal 
translation of the word as I un- 
derstand it is “old outsider.” Yet 
Chinese people insist they do not 
intend to cause offense with the 
use of such a word. Indeed in 
many parts of China, it is re- 
garded as a term of respect to- 
wards foreign people. 

I asked people of several dif- 
ferent nationalities — including 
Australians, Canadians, Britons 
and Americans — as to what 
their understanding of the word 
chow was. Two answers were 
forthcoming: the majority know 
it as a slang word for “food” while 
others recognize it as a friendly 
Italian expression to say “good- 
bye” to good friends. 



FEBRUARY 28, 2003 



By Su Wei 

Y ou’d normally think that school was 
a relatively safe place to be. The 
odd accident yes, the occasional in- 
jury on the sports field and maybe a fight 
breaking out every now and then. But 
on the whole, you’d assume children were 
relatively safe from harm at school. 

You’d probably be surprised then to 
discover that nearly 50 schoolchildren die 
in China every day. Research conducted 
by the Ministry of Education in 2001 re- 
vealed that 14,000 students below the age 
of 18 die every year in accidents or fights 
at school. In the past two years, the num- 
ber of fatalities has risen to 16,000. 

In Shenzhen, Guangdong Province 
more than 800 accidents were reported 
from February 2001 to February 2002, 
over twice that of the same period in the 
late 1990s. 

Last year the Beijing Education Com- 
mittee said school accidents were the 
number one cause of fatalities among 
juveniles, and a key factor behind the 
injuries they suffer. 

Sun Jiangping, a researcher at the 
Children and Juvenile Research Insti- 
tute of Beijing University, says around 
17 percent of primary and middle school 
students are prone to violent behavior. 
In Beijing the proportion is 23 percent, 
according to research conducted last 
year by Beijing Disease Prevention and 
Control Center. 

Young and dangerous 

Liu Wenjia, 18, is one of the 380 in- 
mates at the Juvenile Delinquents Pris- 
on in Daxing, Beijing. A few years ago 
a classmate played a trick on him while 
they were playing football and Liu was 
so angry he decided to beat him to death. 
After murdering his classmate, Liu then 
buried him. He was sentenced to life. 

Wu Ping, 16, was sentenced to three 
years at the prison last November after 
he stabbed his schoolmate with a knife on 
the way home. “I hated her. She spread 
rumors about my girlfriend. I just wanted 
to teach her a lesson so I stabbed her. But 
then she reported me to the police.” 

Li Baocun, director of the Department 
of Education at the prison told Beijing 
Today that around 30 percent of the in- 
mates were imprisoned due to violence 
in which they seriously injured or killed 
their schoolmates. 

There have been similar shocking cas- 
es in other provinces. 

On March 3, 2001, Li Shun, 16, 
a student in Chaiyi Village, Yongjia 
County, Zhejiang Province, killed his 
classmate after a quarrel while playing 
table tennis. 

Chen Hua, 15, a student in Xiangfen 
County, Shanxi Province, had had enough 
of his classmates teasing him, so on De- 
cember 13, 2001 he threw a bottle of sul- 
phuric acid over them. Thirteen kids had 
their faces seriously burned. 

On May 20 last year, Yang Hua, a thir- 
teen-year-old student in Daxian County, 
Sichuan Province, killed his roommate, 
Sun Shuang, with a knife. Yang had 
fought with Sun that afternoon but only 
Yang was scolded by the teacher. 
Violence on TV to blame? 

Tong Lihua, vice general secretary of 
the Research Association of China’s Ju- 
venile Delinquents, attributes aggression 
in school to the violence in modern en- 
tertainment culture. “There are too many 

fight scenes in films and TV programs, 
which tempt kids to show their power in 
front of their classmates in order to get 
respect,” she says. “To their less mature 
state of mind, the best way to show their 
power is through violence - hurting their 

She cites data from the Beijing Com- 
mittee for Protection of Minors, which was 
released at the end of last year. Around 
46 percent of Beijing school students said 
they sometimes wanted to fight or quar- 
rel with others, and 44 percent admitted 
they had even thought of killing people 
though they didn’t understand why they 
had such violent impulses. 

Tong highlights the cycle of violence. 
Once someone has been hurt or has hurt 
someone else, it’s easy for them to de- 
velop the idea that might is right, that 

“strength together with violence brings 
dignity and respect,” she says. “Influenced 
by these ideas, they are much more likely 
to hurt others when they perceive there is 
an opportunity,” says Tong. 

They were just playing 

Xiao Wei, 11, from Pudong, Shanghai, 
says he never wanted to hurt his class- 
mate and friend Xiao Feng. “During the 
class break, he hugged me tightly. I knew 
he meant nothing bad. He just wanted to 
play with me. I never intended to hurt 
him. I was holding my pen and I just 
stabbed it back at him. He cried out and 
I turned back to look at him. There was 
blood seeping through his fingers.” 

The pen had struck Xiao Feng in the 
eye. His vision from his right eye has been 
reduced to nearly zero. Xiao Wei still re- 
members everything about the incident. 

Xiao Wei and his family were sued by 
Xiao Feng’s family, and had to pay com- 
pensation of 3,000 yuan. 

One of the most high profile cases 
of juvenile violence in China happened 
on November 17, 1999. Fang Ke, an 
eight-year-old student in Shenzhen City, 
Guangdong Province, was pushed down 
onto the ground while playing with his 
classmate, Yin Xi. He fractured his skull 
and Fang’s parents demanded compen- 
sation of 4.25 million yuan. It was prin- 
cipally the figure they sought that drew 
the media’s attention. 

QuanYuhai, judge of Dongcheng Peo- 
ple’s Court says that such accidents 
are common among primary school stu- 
dents, and often happen when they’re 
just playing. “They are so young. They 
can hardly predict the negative effect of 
their actions.” 

Tragic accidents 

The death of a junior middle school 
student, Wang Xiaoshun in a private 
school - Taihang Middle School in Quy- 
ang County, Hebei Province - was re- 
garded by the Chinese media as one 
of the most shocking events relating to 
school accidents in 2001. 

On November 25, 2001, Wang Xiaos- 
hun, 15, was climbing around on the stand 
for a basketball hoop which was lying 
on the playground. The stand suddenly 
tipped up and struck Wang on the head. 
He lost consciousness immediately. 

He was taken to the county hospital. 
Three hours later his heart stopped beat- 
ing. The family expressed their demand 
for compensation by placing the body of 
their dead son in front of his school. So 
the head of the county showed up and 
gave Wang’s family 40,000 yuan. 

On November 13, 2000, the electricity 
suddenly went off in a middle school in 
Wutai Town, Shandong Province. Panic 
ensued and in the rush to get to the doors 
five students died and 32 were injured. 

On March 6, 2001, the collapse of a 
toilet wall in a primary school in Feido- 
ng County, Anhui Province caused the 
death of one student and injuries to 
three others. 

“These accidents are caused by the 
school lacking due safety controls,” an of- 

ficial of the Ministry of Education (who 
declined to give his name) told Beijing 
Today. The official, who is responsible for 
solving disputes caused by school acci- 
dents, said, “The most common problem 
is that schools are more worried about 
students’ performance in exams than 
their safety.” He says in most schools, 
there are only one or two staff responsi- 
ble for school safety. “Even these people 
are not full time safety staff as they have 
other responsibilities.” 

Schools sued 

Sixteen-year-old Xiao Wu from Shi- 
jingshan District, Beijing has suffered im- 
paired vision in his left eye since being hit 
by a football during a game. His family 
sued Xiao Wu’s classmate Xiao Liu who 
kicked the ball and the school. 

Shijingshan People’s Court decided on 

November 28 last year that neither Xiao 
Liu nor the school was responsible for the 
injury, according to the Regulations for 
Handling School Accidents, which were 
brought into effect on September 1, 2002. 

Zhang Yonghua, one of the representa- 
tives of the National Congress who pro- 
posed the regulations, says they clarify 
the responsibility among students, their 
parents and the school and are intended 
to release schools from the fear of car- 
rying out any outdoor activities. “Some 
parents believe the school should be the 
guardian of the students, though civil law 
stipulates that only the parents are the 
guardians,” he says. 

“They consider that as long as the chil- 
dren are sent to school, the school is bound 
to take all responsibilities relating to any 
incidents within its grounds, as they have 
‘given’ their children to the school.” 

The injured students and their par- 
ents interviewed by Beijing Today be- 
lieve these regulations enable schools to 
“waive” their responsibilities. 

Li Yao, 14, a middle school student 
from Weifang City, Shandong Province, 
was hospitalized for nearly six months af- 
ter falling from the window of a classroom 
on the third floor. On April 5, 2001 she 
tried to pull down the blind but was too 
short to reach it. So she climbed up to the 
window, which was open at that time. She 
fell out of it and down to the ground, in- 
juring her skull. 

Her family sued the school for compen- 
sation as well as medical expenses which 
they said would be more than 700,000 
yuan. The Secondary People’s Court of 
Weifang decided the school should pay 40 
percent of the costs. 

The school principal said he agreed 
with the decision but the father, according 
to Xinhua News Agency, asked how the 
family would be able to afford the further 
400,000 yuan in medical expenses. 

Yu Hongwei, a judge at the court, said 
the expense caused by such accidents can 
hardly be afforded by an ordinary family, 
especially in a society lacking sufficient 
social welfare. “There is insurance for 
workers who are injured at work. But for 
students, there is no insurance.” 

A member of the Beijing Education 
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said the parents’ main aim was to deal 
with their children’s medical expenses 
and provide their future social security. 
“The regulations only superficially clar- 
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the students and the parents but fails 
to solve the basic problems caused by 
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(Pseudonyms are used for the students in- 
volved in school accidents.) Photo / Tony Stone 

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Should Japan Pay? 

Wang with 96-year-old Zhu Wenda who witnessed Japan’s germ warfare pro- 
gram in Yiwu County. Zhu died in February 2002. Photo by Tan Jin 

By Sun Ming 

T he High Court in Tokyo is 
about to hear the case of 
Japan’s biological warfare 
in China during World War II. 

The plaintiffs are demanding 
an apology and compensation from 
the Japanese Government. The 
fact the case has finally made it 
to one of the highest courts in Ja- 
pan is a personal victory for Wang 
Xuan who has been campaigning 
for recognition of the issue for the 
past eight years. 

Using her mastery of Chinese, 
English and Japanese, 51-year- 
old Wang works as the head, or- 
ganizer and interpreter of the 
plaintiffs’ group of 180 people 
who are both survivors and rela- 
tives of deceased victims of the 
Imperial Japanese Army’s germ 

Partial victory in 2002 

On August 27 last year, the 
Tokyo District Court ruled that 
Japan had indeed waged germ 
warfare in China, a form of con- 
flict banned by the 1925 Geneva 

It was the first time a Japa- 
nese court had recognized this. 
The claim that germ warfare was 
carried out by the infamous Unit 
731 and other units of the Impe- 
rial army during the 1937-1945 
war in China had long been offi- 
cially denied. 

But the court refused any com- 
pensation or an apology to the 
Chinese victims who asked for 10 
million yen — about $84,000 — 
for each of the plaintiffs. 

“There is no international law 
enabling individuals to sue for war- 
time damages,” said Judge Koji 
Iwata in the court. The court said 
compensation issues had already 
been settled under postwar trea- 
ties between Japan and China. 

Three days later, the plaintiff 
group filed an appeal to the Tokyo 
High Court. 

“It is absurd that the Japanese 
government doesn’t have to take 

“7 said in court that we brought 
the lawsuit in order to remember 
all the victims who died from the 
germ warfare and we would fight 
for justice to the end.” 

— Wang Xuan 

any responsibility, even though 
the ruling confirmed biological 
warfare had taken place,” said 

“Even though China’s govern- 
ment announced in the 1970s 
that it wouldn’t ask for war 
compensation, Japan should pay 
compensation to victims. We are 
the representatives of civilians,” 
Wang told Beijing Today. 
Investigating germ warfare 

In 1995, Wang learnt from Ja- 
pan Times that two Japanese had 
reported their investigation of vic- 
tims in Chongshan village, Yiwu 
County, Zhejiang Province, at an 
international seminar about the 
brutal acts carried out by Japan’s 
Unit 731. 

Wang also discovered three 
villagers were filing a suit in a 
Japanese court, demanding com- 
pensation for their wartime suf- 

“I was very interested. Yiwu 
is my hometown,” said Wang who 
called the newspaper at once. 

At that time, Wang had been 
living in Japan with her husband 
for almost eight years. The cou- 
ple had finished their studies, and 
started upon a peaceful life. 

“Germ warfare took eight lives 
from my family. When I was a lit- 
tle girl, my father told me how 
the Japanese had spread bubonic 

plague and cholera bacteria in 
Chongshan village. I still remem- 
ber the look on his face,” she 

In 1942, a Japanese plane 
flew over Chongshan Village and 
dropped a deadly load onto the 
people below. 

One month later, a Japanese 
army unit, who claimed they could 
treat the patients, came to the vil- 
lage. They took the patients to a 
remote place and began to con- 
duct a grisly form of human vivi- 
section upon their living bodies to 
find out the effects of the biologi- 
cal warfare. 

Within two months, 403 villag- 
ers had died from the plague and 
the experiments. 

Unit 731 had grown fleas 
in a bathtub, mixed them with 
wheat to attract disease-carrying 
rats, infected them with bubonic 
plague, and then airdropped them 
over Zhejiang and Hunan be- 
tween 1940 and 1942. 

“People died in hours or days, 
their bodies swollen and black. 
Those who came to their funer- 
als often took the disease home 
with them,” said Ding De Wang, 
69, who testified that his father 
died in convulsions two days af- 
ter being exposed to the plague. 
At the time, Ding was 8. 

Going back to the 

Wang said she felt she had to 
do something. In 1995 she joined 
a non-governmental investigation 
group in Japan which was look- 
ing into germ warfare. 

“We were overwhelmed by the 
fact that so many people were af- 
fected by the germ warfare and 
that the rest of the world knew so 
little about it,” said Wang. 

Wang became the head of the 
plaintiff group in 1997 when 
they brought their lawsuit to To- 
kyo District Court, demanding an 
apology and compensation. 

Among the plaintiff group, 
most are from Yiwu, Ningbo, Qu- 

zhou, Dongyang, Jiangshan in 
Zhejiang Province, and Changde 
in Hunan Province. 

The plaintiff group claims that 
at least 300,000 people were killed 
by germ warfare though Wang 
says the number could be as high 
as one million. Unit 731 operated 
in China from 1937-1945 and con- 
ducted experiments on more than 
3,000 people including Chinese, 
Koreans and Russians. 

Wang appeared in Tokyo Dis- 
trict Court for the first time on 
August 11, 1997. 

“I couldn’t help weeping as 
I gave my testimony. I couldn’t 
even read my notes clearly,” says 
Wang. “There were three judges 
and I noticed two of them were 
crying also.” 

“I said in court that we brought 
the lawsuit in order to remember 
all the victims who died from the 
germ warfare and we would fight 
for justice to the end.” 

Wang attended court hearings 
27 times between 1997 and 2002. 
“Most of the time I was the only 
plaintiff in the court,” she said. 

Wang admitted that she felt 
lonely. “I had hoped Chinese peo- 
ple would be more interested. But 
it seems many of the Chinese stu- 
dents in Japan were too busy to 
attend the sessions.” 

Japan’s conscience 

“If one more person knows 
about the germ warfare atroci- 
ties, we are one step closer to our 
victory,” says Wang. The plaintiffs 
are gradually getting more atten- 
tion from China and from around 
the world. 

Wang still lives in Himeji, Ja- 
pan and works for a company in 
the city. Her job is researching 
Chinese business. 

“I haven’t been put under any 
pressure at work. My boss knows 
my lawsuit against his country,” 
said Wang. “But he is very polite 
to me. Actually he is one of my 

Wang Peigen, the secretary of 

the plaintiff group, told Beijing 
Today that 234 Japanese lawyers 
had offered to help them without 
pay. There have also been dona- 
tions from non-governmental or- 
ganizations which have reached 
five million yen in the past eight 

Wang has also received help 
from Yoshio Shinozuka, 77, a for- 
mer member of Unit 731. He re- 
pented his participation in the 
unit and volunteered to testify 
in court. He told of the human 
experimentation that went on at 
the unit’s Harbin headquarters in 
northeastern China. 

Career sidelined 

“I know that most of the survi- 
vors are getting older and older. 
Some have already passed away 
during the lawsuit,” says Wang 
who on several occasions has led 
groups of hundreds of old survi- 

vors between China and Japan to 
file their case. 

Wang is now seen by many 
people as a heroine in her battle 
with a formidable government. 
She was named one of the “Top 
Ten most influential Chinese in 
2002 ”. 

Since the plaintiff group was 
assembled without government 
support, Wang has had to pay out 
of her own pocket for much of the 

“My husband gives the most 
help,” she said, “since he tolerates 
a wife who is always away.” 

“This is something all Chinese 
people should care about. If we 
want to get justice, we need sup- 
port. I don’t just mean lip service, 
what’s the meaning of that? But 
if Chinese people really got be- 
hind us, we might succeed. We’ve 
already come a long way.” 

Ttading Buddha for Bucks P 

Theme park housing replica of Bamiyan Buddha investigated 

Dodgy erection covered up Photo by Wangjingchun 

By Ivy Zhang 

A 37 -meter replica of one of the 
Buddhas of Bamiyan, destroyed 
by the Taliban two years ago, 
stands in a park in China, cov- 
ered in blue plastic wrapping. 

It has been declared illegal and 
the park which built it is being 
investigated following a report in 
a newspaper claiming the park 
had built its replica within the 
core protective area of the tombs 
of Mahaoya, state-protected cul- 
tural relics. 

The park, named Oriental Bud- 
dha Capital, is about 1,000 me- 
ters west of the Leshan Giant 
Buddha, the world’s largest stat- 
ue of Buddha standing at 71 me- 
ters and part of the UNESCO 
world heritage. 

The park decided to build its 
replica after the two Buddhas 
of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, one 
about 53-meters-high and the oth- 
er 37-meters-high, were destroyed 
in March 2001. 

The new Bamiyan Buddha was 
carved in Leshan, Sichuan prov- 
ince within a year. 

“The Bamiyan Buddha is ille- 
gal. But whether the park is il- 
legal or not, we haven’t decided 
yet,” said an official from Sichuan 
Cultural Relics Protection Admin- 
istration who declined to give his 

“In May 2001, papers were is- 
sued to ban the building of repli- 
ca because it violates the nation’s 
Cultural Relics Protection Law.” 

The park and the Bamiyan 

Oriental Buddha Capital 
Stock Holding Company started 
constructing the park in 1992 
and opened it to the public two 
years later. 

More than 300 people helped 
build the park, including 20 pro- 
fessors from Sichuan Art Insti- 

tute and about 200 technicians. 
The total investment was 100 
million yuan. 

According to Liang Enming, 
chairman of the company, the 
park was intended to develop Chi- 
na’s Buddhism culture. 

“Chinese Buddhism culture is 
only complete with the conver- 
gence of Buddhism, Confucius 
and Taoism, “ Liang said. “I felt 
that the Leshan Giant Buddha 
was too isolated. All the world- 
famous statues of Buddha are 
surrounded by other representa- 
tions of Buddha, like the moon 
surrounded by stars. We wanted 
to expand and develop this cul- 
ture, based around the Leshan 
Giant Buddha.” 

But not everyone believes 
what Liang claims. Guo Zhan, 
director of the World Heritage 
Management Division, State Cul- 
tural Relics Administration, said 
it was only a personal scheme of 
Liang’s to implement this proj- 
ect. He said Buddha should more 
properly stand alone, needing no 

“Otherwise, its authenticity is 
compromised,” he said. “And to 
build a large artificial park in a 
natural scenic spot like Leshan is 
sure to spoil the vegetation and 
physiognomy of the area.” 

The replica of the Bamiyan 
Buddha was built from May 2001 
to February 2002 at a cost of eight 
million yuan. 

Liang said he wanted to build 
the statue because of “our re- 
spect for Buddhism and desire to 
save the world’s heritage from de- 
struction.” He also said the proj- 
ect to replicate the statue had 
received “massive media coverage 
from home and abroad in support 
of the building”. 

Controversial site 

Southern Weekend , a Guang- 

zhou-based newspaper, published 
a story titled “Ridiculous! Bami- 
yan Giant Buddha Revived at Le- 
shan” last Thursday, which drew 
nationwide attention to the park. 

The story claimed the Bami- 
yan replica had been built “with- 
in the core protection area of the 
Mahaoya Tombs.” 

The 2,000-year-old Mahaoya 
Tombs were built in China’s Han 
dynasty and include some of the 
world’s earliest stone statues of 
Buddha. There are more than 500 
individual tombs in the area near 
Leshan Giant Buddha. 

“To protect the historic site, 
the state set up Leshan Maha- 

oya Tomb Museum 18 years ago. 
But due to financial constraints, 
the museum only includes seven 
tombs. There are 500 other tombs 
scattered among the hills nearby. 

“In 1989, the Sichuan govern- 
ment appropriated about 49 hect- 
ares of land as protective land 
for the Mahaoya Tombs. In 1994, 
the Oriental Buddha Capital park 
was given permission to be built 
on the site, albeit outside the 
core protection area. In 2001, the 
Bamiyan Buddha was built with- 
in the core protective area,” the 
paper reports. 

“If the park is in the protect- 
ed area of the tombs and they 

failed to get a permit, it is ille- 
gal from the perspective of China 
Cultural Relics Protection Law,” 
said Chai Xiaoming, director of 
the Cultural Relics Protection 
Division of the State Cultural 
Relics Administration. 

Chai said they had already 
requested Sichuan authorities to 
look into this case. An inves- 
tigation team went to the site 
Wednesday. The result has not 
been decided yet. 

Liang served as deputy direc- 
tor of Leshan Buddha Relics Man- 
agement Committee for six years 
from 1986 to 1992. 

He says the local government al- 
located 49 hectares of land to the 
committee in 1989. But the govern- 
ment took it back four years later 
in 1993 as the land remained un- 
developed. In 1993, the government 
let it to the company for a term of 
40 years, according to Liang. 

He said the core protective 
area of the tombs is only 0.07 
hectares of land surrounded by a 
wall and his park is outside the 

“How could we put a 37-meter- 
high Buddha within 0.07 hectares 
of land? There used to be a worn- 
out hospital on the land covering 
an area of 10,000 square meters. 
It is us who spent big bucks to 
move the hospital away last year 
and plant trees in the area. ” 
Damaging the heritage? 

Southern Weekend reports that 
the Leshan Buddha Management 
Committee approached Leshan 
Culture Bureau, the company and 
the local authorities after the Bami- 
yan project began in May 2001, 
complaining the project was dam- 
aging the Mahaoya Tombs. 

The committee claimed the 
project had caused great damage 
to the tombs and that the use 
of heavy vehicles and bulldozers 
had shaken the coffin chambers 
within the museum. 

“The committee tried to pre- 
vent the illegal construction 
many times in writing or orally 
but all their efforts were in vain,” 
the report continues. 

Liang says he never used bull- 
dozers but only hand-pulled carts 

and says the statue was built far 
away from the coffin chambers. 

In return, he attacked the com- 
mittee. “The committee has its own 
problems with protecting relics. 
They tore down the side rooms of 
Lingyun Temple and the ancient 
pavilion and side rooms of Dongpo 
House just beside the Leshan Gi- 
ant Buddha within the core pro- 
tective areas. They are also doing 
illegal things,” said Liang. 

Making money in the name 
of heritage? 

Starting from the end of last 
year, a sign reading “Oriental 
Buddha Capital - World Heritage 
Protection Area” hung at the en- 
trance of the park. 

After Southern Weekend cov- 
ered the story, Liang took the 
sign down. 

“That was my fault. The 
UNESCO officials did visit and 
examine the park but did not 
evaluate it,” he said. “But I think 
we are within the range of three 
kilometers from the Leshan Gi- 
ant Buddha. The Leshan Bud- 
dha occupies a core UNESCO 
protective area and any place 
within three kilometers is also 

The newspaper reported that 
many visitors complained about 
the park and about 400 tourists 
were misled into going to the park 
when they had wanted to visit 
the Leshan Buddha. The paper ac- 
cused the park of “making profit in 
the less-regulated tourism market 
using the name of Leshan Giant 

Liang pointed out that the 
park was opened two years before 
UNESCO listed the Leshan Bud- 
dha as part of the world heritage. 
He said neither the Leshan Bud- 
dha park nor his Oriental Bud- 
dha Capital park are profitable. 

“We still owe the bank 10 to 20 
million yuan,” Liang said. 

“The park cost a lot of money 
but all it’s got is fake antiques. It is 
of no great value,” said Guo Zhang, 
the official from the state author- 
ity. “It is in poor taste and is to- 
tally business-driven. In terms of 
spreading culture and promoting 
tourism, it is not a good project.” 

© F^V^#E 'iL 



FEBRUARY 28, 2003 



Wang contributes to the cultural life of residents in his community. 

By Zhao Pu 

T hink of China’s neighborhood 
committees and the image of 
the old woman sitting on a 
doorstep, keeping an eye out for 
undesirable elements will probably 
come to mind. 

But times have changed. Some 
of the pressures of modern society, 
such as unemployment and rising 
crime rates, have required rather 
more direct involvement in the 
community. Recent reforms have 
enticed younger people into the 
job of community services, such as 
39-year-old Wang Fuzhu. 

Three years ago, Wang took off 
the military uniform he had worn for 
18 years and walked into one of the 
neighborhood committees in Beijing. 
Soon he was busy fixing gates, prizing 
apart outraged mothers and furious 
daughters-in-law and finding new 
boyfriends for lonely divorcees. 

“I didn’t expect I’d have such a 
wide range of tasks,” he says. It was 
all a long way from the PLA but 
he did well enough to be named 
a model community servant by the 

Role change 

In 1999, the government decided 
to downsize the army by 500,000 
soldiers and the military unit Wang 
had served in for 18 years was 
disbanded. He was reluctant to retire, 
and to leave his familiar life in the 
army behind. 

There was also the problem of 
finding a new job. He didn’t have 
any special technical skills or higher 
educational background, so Wang 
was worried. 

He went to the Beijing Personnel 
Administration Center near the 
Forbidden City and registered in 
its personnel database. “It was a 
big surprise for me when several 
institutions contacted me right after 
I registered, saying they wanted 
to employ someone with a military 
background,” he says. 

Initially, Wang worked for a 
biotech company and then a 
construction company but only for 
a few months as he didn’t like 
the working environment he found 
there. In spring 2000, while Wang 
was wondering which kind of job 
would suit him better, the Beijing 
government released an 
advertisement recruiting community 

Wang applied and was given 
a book named Neighborhood 
Committee Work Introduction as 
material for the enrollment test. 
He read it several times, but still 
Wang couldn’t understand what the 
neighborhood committee actually did. 
“I had never known anything about 
them,” he says. 

Wang succeeded in the interview 

From Guns to Grannies 

and was enlisted by the government 
as one of the community servants 
in Beijing. He was assigned to 
Baliqiao Neighborhood Committee, 
which took care of more than 500 
households. When Wang had been a 
staff officer in the army, he had over 
100 soldiers in his command; now he 
had 2,000 people in his community 
to look after. 

At the beginning, Wang was taken 
aback by the scope of his new job. 
“People came to us with literally 
any kind of problem,” he says. A 
nursery maid complained she had 
not been fully paid by her employer 
who was not happy with her service; 
somebody’s bathroom fitment 
workers did a shoddy job; water was 
dropping from an upstairs balcony 
onto the drying clothes downstairs; a 
mother and daughter-in-law started 
a family war; some parents felt their 
sons were maltreating them... 

Some of these problems were easy 
to fix as there were regulations or 
contracts involved. But others, like 
family disputes, required more tact. 
As it was hard to judge who was 
right or wrong Wang decided to rely 
on gentle and patient persuasion. 
Right, you ’orrible lot! 

The locals soon realized that 
things were going to be different with 
this former soldier in charge. Wang’s 
community had been plagued by 
petty crime such as theft of bicycles 
and even cars. So he worked out 
a plan to strengthen the security 
system. “The two gates of our 
community should be closed all day 
long, manned by 24-hour security 
guards who will open them for 
residents. Suspicious strangers won’t 
be let in,” his plan read. 

Wang pasted his security plan on 
the ad board outside his office. Most 
of the neighbors supported his idea. 
That was the first “big measure” 
Wang carried out in his community. 
But several days after the strict plan 
was implemented, people began to 
complain. “Where does he think this 
is, his barracks? Why doesn’t he ask 
us to stand at attention when we 
report to come in?” they said. 

The plan certainly affected the 
convenience of local teenagers. The 
amateur security guards often sloped 
off at night so the young folk 
returning late had to climb over the 
gates to get home. 

One morning, when Wang arrived 
at his office, he found some old people 
gathering at the back gate of the 

“The community is my home,” Wang writes on the ad board. 

Wang gives a meeting for applicants of the future Taiji group. 

Writing new year couplets in office 


Wang coordinates with local security guards. 

Photos by Zhuang Jian 

community. He approached them to 
see what had happened and found 
the iron door had been ripped down. 
His first reaction was anger but he 
just lifted the heavy door and carried 
it to the lock fixer. “I decided I would 
just fix it. Next time it got broken I 
would fix it again,” he says. 

Wang bowed to some of the local’s 
complaints by correcting the work 
attitude of the security guards. The 
strict plan did at least succeed in 
putting a stop to bicycle theft. 

Being a community servant, Wang 
wasn’t only dealing with small 
disputes. Some of the people he dealt 
with were quite dangerous. 

One day in summer 2001, Wang 
was working with two colleagues in 
his office. Suddenly, the door was 
kicked open and a drunk man holding 
a kitchen knife in hand stumbled in. 
The man shouted to them, “I’m back 
now, you guys better find a good job 
for me or I’ll make trouble for you.” 

Wang knew the man, who had 
just been released after 10 years’ 
imprisonment in Xinjiang. He was 
living with his old parents now in 
the community. Nobody wanted to 
employ him because of his record. 
So he poured out his frustration 
and resentment at the neighborhood 

Wang’s two female colleagues were 
frightened by the man. Wang 
answered him calmly, “you’d better 
drop that knife and talk like a man. 
I’ve been a soldier for 18 years, 
you think you can frighten me with 
that knife?” The man sat down and 
repeated his requirement. “We can 
help you to find a job. But you’d 
better improve your behavior first!” 
said Wang. 

Wang found the oil company 
the man worked with before he 
was imprisoned and persuaded the 
manager to give him a job to feed his 

Another jobless man in his 
community also threatened Wang 
during his application for welfare. He 
had applied for several years, but was 
never granted it. Wang felt he didn’t 
meet the criteria for welfare, which 
was meant for those who cannot 
work. “He can work, he is just lazy,” 
says Wang. 

After being rejected again by 
Wang in his application in 2000, the 
man spread rumors about Wang and 
threatened to beat him up. Some of 
the residents warned Wang to watch 

out for the roguish man. One day 
when Wang was having lunch in a 
small restaurant, the man brought 
two of his friends to teach him a 
lesson, but was stopped from doing 
anything by angry residents. 

Such threats are not rare in Wang’s 
daily work. Irrational people vent 
their anger and complaints to the 
neighborhood committee. “A 50-year- 
old divorced woman even asked me 
to find her a new boyfriend. She came 
to my office every day to check my 
progress, and shouted at me if she 
thought I wasn’t taking it seriously,” 
he says. 

New start 

Wang’s efficiency proved a sharp 
contrast to that of his superannuated 
predecessors. A local dump, known 
as the ‘garbage hill’, had been piling 
up for years and had become a 
big headache for residents in the 
community. Wang organized some 
volunteers and cleared it up in half 
a month. 

When he first reported to work, 
people complained to him that there 
was no bus stop near their 
community, the residents had to walk 
for 20 minutes to get to the bus stop. 
Wang contacted the department in 
charge of public transportation and 
wrote to the People’s Congress right 
away. The problem was solved within 
two months. 

At the beginning of this year Wang 
was transferred to a new community. 
The residents in his first one were 
sorry to see him go, especially aged 
people. To enrich their life, Wang had 
arranged dozen of trips around the 
city and to Tianjin for the old folks, as 
well as a number of entertainment 
activities and competitions. 

The new community in Ding- 
fuzhuang will be a new start for 
Wang. There are nearly 2,000 
households and over 5,000 residents 
under his new neighborhood 
committee. Compared with the 
previous community, security and 
sanitation here are much better. “It 
seems that I don’t need to guard the 
gates and clear the garbage here, so 
I’ll probably focus on enhancing the 
cultural life of our residents,” says 

In this year’s annual plan, Wang 
will build a Taiji group and will 
enlarge the singing group in the new 
community. “People have complained 
to me that there is no exercise place 
in our community.” So Wang will 
write to the People’s Congress again. 

FEBRUARY 28, 2003 





By Iris Miao 

L ast Tuesday marked a cru- 
cial and exciting moment 
in the story of China’s folk 
cultural heritage. A project titled 
Saving Chinese Folk Cultural 
Heritage was officially launched 
at the Great Hall of the People. 

Over the next ten years, a mas- 
sive survey will be carried out to 
map the overall status of China’s 
folk cultural heritage. On com- 
pletion, the results of the sur- 
vey, which will cover the three 
categories of folk customs, folk 
literature, and folk art, will be 

The first step is to determine 
exactly what we have in terms of 
folk cultural heritage, says writer 
Feng Jicai, chairman of the China 
Folk Artists Association and the 
driving force behind the project, 
and to record everything, “as big 
as an ancient village to as small 
as an embroidered pouch” in writ- 
ing, photographs and videos. 

The death of an old folk artist 
with no apprentices to perpetu- 
ate his or her legacy, a piece of 
folk architecture demolished to 
make way for a highway or mod- 
ern apartment block ... It is no 
exaggeration to say that a little 
bit of China’s folk culture vanish- 
es with every passing minute. 

“We just cannot wait one minute 
more to take action,” says Feng. 

Better late ... 

The word “Save,” in the context 
of the project bears a sad, even 
ironic, connotation. Take Spring 
Festival pictures printed using tra- 
ditional woodblock techniques, for 
example. Recent losses are un- 
countable and non-refundable. 

Zhuxianzhen County in Kai- 
feng, Henan was once one of the 
four major production areas for 
these brightly colored decorative 
images, along with Yangliuqing 
near Tianjin, Taohuawu near Su- 
zhou and Yangjiapu near Wei- 

According to Yao Jingtang, 
director of the Kaifeng Spring 
Festival Picture Research Asso- 
ciation, in June 1988, there were 
11 artists accomplished in the 
art, all over the age of 60. By July 
2001, seven of them had passed 

As for Yangliuqing, where 

making Spring Festival pictures 
was once a sideline for virtually 
every household, those still in- 
volved in the trade today can be 
counted on one hand. Feng Jicai 
finished a survey at Yangliuqing 
last month, in which he found 
only one family still using the 
traditional woodblock technique. 

Although several new work- 
shops have been established, they 
were set up in response to the re- 
cent growth of tourism, and the 
pictures are created using modem 
printing methods rather than the 
traditional woodblock technique. 

Funding the major problem 

Although the project has at- 
tracted state level support, so 
far no details regarding funding 
have been released. 

Feng has been working to get 
the project off the ground for a 
year and a half, talking to offi- 
cials at all levels and potential 
sponsors, yet after 18 months, 
“The result is just a press con- 
ference at the Great Hall of the 
People,” says Feng with disap- 
pointment, “it is far from satis- 

Feng describes himself as an 

idealist and a perfectionist. “I 
feel like I’m a Don Quixote,” he 
says, “though I’m full of enthusi- 
asm in public, always in the front 
line of the battle, I’m actually a 
pessimist at heart.” 

So what will keep his enthusi- 
asm burning over the ten years 
it will take to complete the proj- 
ect? “Love, love for our culture,” 
he says simply. 

Recording is a way of 

At the heart of Feng’s pes- 
simism, he says, is his feeling 

of powerlessness. The lifetime 
of skills and knowledge in the 
hands and mind of an aging art- 
ist might be lost if there is no 
apprentice; a beautiful ancient 
village might be transformed al- 
most overnight into a hideous 
imitation of a Roman garden, 
and he can do nothing. 

The focus of this project is to 
record the status of the various 
aspects of the cultural heritage 
as vividly as possible, while they 
still exist, and to collect what 
still can be found of the vestiges 
of those that have already van- 

So what can be done after ten 
years, when the survey is com- 
plete, the books are published, to 
prevent those remaining living 
folk cultures from disappearing 

“We have to rely on the govern- 
ment then,” says Feng, “anyway, 
recording is a way of protecting, 
at least we will have an idea of 
how we once lived.” 

Volunteer project 

The China Folk Artist Asso- 
ciation has issued a survey bro- 
chure, which explains the huge 
scope the project covers, and a 
VCD containing an example of a 
survey videoed at a small moun- 
tain village called Hougou in 
Shanxi Province. The association 
encourages volunteers to take 
the brochure with them and go 
into the field to carry out investi- 

After the media coverage fol- 
lowing last Tuesday’s press con- 
ference, many people contacted 
the association, volunteering to 
participate. “We cherish the en- 
thusiasm,” says Feng, “yet en- 
thusiasm is not enough.” It also 
requires expertise and painstak- 
ing fieldwork. 

“We’ve already set up a spe- 
cial office for the project,” says 
Xiang Yunju, secretary of the as- 
sociation, “step by step we will 
offer uniform training to all par- 
ticipants, experts, folk culture 
scholars, students, and workers 
around the country.” 

There will be a conference on 
execution of the project late next 
month, and a law on saving and 
protecting folk cultural heritage 
is currently under discussion. 

A Nostalgic Look at 
Old Beijing 

By Iris Miao 

Wei’er L) is a useful 
word in Beijing dialect. It 
can be interpreted as “flavor,” 
“characteristic,” or 
“ambience,” as in the context 
of “jingwei’er wenhua,” 
meaning “flavor of Beijing 
culture,” but who can clearly 
define this flavor? 

When it is used to 
describe a person, as in 
“you wei’er,” it is a little 
more difficult to translate. 
Generally, it means the 
person has some sort of 
“special” quality. Artist Yang 
Xin could be described as 
quite “you wei’er,” with the 
publication of the third book 
in his Beijing trilogy last 

The three books, Read 
Hutong, about life in 
Beijing’s lanes, published in 
2001, Old Trades of Beijing, 
published last year, and the 
most recent Outside the 
Qianmen Gate, feature 
detailed color pencil 
drawings and commentaries 
by Yang, complete with 
English translations. 

Yang says he was initially 
motivated simply by a desire 
to summarize his wayward 
childhood memories, but his 
love for the “flavor of Beijing 
ambience” led him to 
accomplish something rather 
more substantial. 

Outside the Qianmen Gate 
concentrates on the culture 
of the southern part of 
Beijing, the oldest part of 
the city. The old stores such 
as Tongrentang Chinese 
Medicine Store, Neiliansheng 
Shoe Store are there, along 
with scenes from the old 
Tianqiao theatre district, 
including vaudeville and 
opera troupes, foods, the 
market, scenery and 

Yang says writing the 
captions for each of the 110 
pictures took him over half 
a year, much longer than 
he actually spent on the 
drawings themselves. “Those 
who love the old Beijing 
will see history and culture 
through my paintings,” says 

Tianqiao theater scene by Yang Xin 

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By Liu Qiongxiong 

T he Xiangshan Primary School, a small 
school almost an hour drive from 
downtown Guangzhou, was the unlike- 
ly host of a collective art event last month. 
From January 18 to 23, British sculptor Ant- 
ony Gormley mobilized the school’s students 
and the whole community to take part in one 
chapter of his on-going international work 
titled Asian Field. In all, over 300 children, 
parents and other local residents got their 
hands dirty crafting 120,000 small clay figu- 
rines under Gormley’s guidance. 

Before actual creation began, Gormley 
laid two ground rules: every figure should be 
about as long as a human hand and be por- 
trayed standing and looking up at the sky. To 
give the impromptu artists plenty of room, 
the school’s playground was made a tempo- 
rary studio and display area. One hundred 
tons of clay went into creating the army of 
small sculptures. 

During the event, the schoolyard was 
filled with a huge variety of people, from cu- 
rious teenagers to countrywomen in their 
holiday best, older men to silent poets, cam- 
eramen angling for the best view, Chinese 
artists speaking English, foreigners speak- 
ing Chinese, and officials of the school and lo- 
cal government overseeing the whole thing. 
Without question, the happiest contingent 
was the kids and their parents, sitting on the 
playground together kneading and molding 
clay under the beating sun. 

Aside from its artistic merit, this event was 
an interesting study of human behavior. The 
masses went through a few stages during the 
whole event, as everyone seemed nervous at 
first, and early creations turned out looking 
very similar. As they warmed up, though, the 
amateur artists started working in their own 
ideas, and the pieces showed far more original- 
ity. And then, on the last day of the project, the 
collective mind converged again, and most figu- 
rines shared a common look. 

Throughout the event, Gormley tirelessly 
worked the crowd, offering his sculpting as- 
sistants encouragement and asking them 

He asked two women, “What do you think 
your figurines are like?” “A Boddhisattva,” 
said one, while the other answered, “a mobile 
phone.” Their mentor immediately took out 
his own cell phone to compare to the figure. 
“Which is better, a Boddhisattva or a mobile 
phone?” he asked the women. One quickly 
answered, “A mobile phone, of course. It can 
reach all over the world.” 

This was just one chapter in Field , a 
long-term project Gormley has conducted in 
communities around the world since 1989. 
China’s contribution is the largest ever, gen- 
erating three times more figures than any of 
its predecessors. After they were finished, all 
the tiny sculptures were fired in a large kiln 
to protect and preserve them. 

Starting in March, the clay figurines will 
go public at a series of exhibitions held in 
an underground parking lot in Guangzhou, 
the National Museum of Chinese History 
in Beijing, a rice storage warehouse in 
Pudong, Shanghai and an abandoned factory 
in Chongqing. During these shows, the tiny 
sculptures will take up all the space, and 
visitors will only be able to see them from 
the doors or other outside vantage points. 
Gormley said he has not decided on the fi- 
nal fate of the figurines, but has indicated he 
is inclined to return them in the end to the 

Photos by Zeng Han / Translated by Zhang Huan 

Antony Gormley brings sculpture to the masses 

Antony Gormley and his work Field 

Artists in Space 

By Qiao Luqiang 

Red Gate Gallery is cur- 
rently host to the “Space on 
the Move” exhibition, featur- 
ing nearly 30 works, includ- 
ing oil and acrylic paintings, 
wood block and mixed media 

Beijing artist Xin Yi’s 
mixed media work Crossroad 
vividly addresses the confu- 
sion that can arise during 
transactions across cultures 
and traditions, in part depict- 
ed by the ancient Chinese 
characters for North, South, 
East and West. 

Feng Feng, another artist 
in the show, has a background 
in lasers and science, per- 
haps the reason why geomet- 
ric images frequently appear 
in his paintings. His acrylic 
on canvas painting Beijing 
City turns the huge and com- 
plicated heart of Beijing into 
a simple, flat image made up 
of several square color mass- 
es. Faint figures and Chinese 
characters are stamped and 
engraved on the background 
of the work. 

The show’s curator, Xu En- 

Beijing City by Xin Yi 

Photo by Zhuang Jian 

cun, said, “To these artists, 
searching for new spatial and 
linguistic forms is an untiring 
and joyful process. They move 
from one space to another, 
from one type of commu- 
nication to another, by shift- 
ing between various forms of 
manipulating reality and by 
charging headlong towards 
the development of aesthetic 
value and form.” 

Where: Red Gate Gal- 
lery, Dongbianmen Watchtow- 
er, Chongwenmen When: 
February 22 - March 9 Tele- 
phone: 6525 1005 Website: 
redgategallery. com 

Gormley shares a laugh with two volunteer sculptors 

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FEBRUARY 28, 2003 





Cats to Stalk Beijing Stage 

By Dong Nan 

F ollowing its stunning success in Shang- 
hai, at least in terms of pre-sales, Andrew 
Lloyd Webber’s Cats will open in Beijing 
on May 18 for a 72-performance season. 

General manager of China Performing Arts Agen- 
cy Zhang Yu made the announcement last week. 

More than 65 million people have seen Cats 
in nearly 300 theaters around the world since 
it premiered in London in 1981. Due to open in 
Shanghai on March 28, the musical has already 
topped’s ticket sales. 

It will be the first opportunity for Beijingers 
to experience Webber’s best known work in its 
entirety, and the production’s success seems as- 
sured, if the reception a concert of popular songs 
from his musicals at the Great Hall of the Peo- 
ple last September is anything to go on. 

“Seventy-two performances is a record num- 
ber for the Beijing stage, and we are determined 
to stick it out even if the box office returns are 
not good,” said Zhang Yu, “I am not sure yet 
whether all the tickets can be sold, but I have 
confidence in the appeal of Cats.” 

Yu Lina 

Top Female Musicians 
Celebrate Their Festival 

By Nebula Dong 

Noted female musi- 
cians Yu Lina, Bao Huiq- 
iao and Min Huifen will 
give a concert to cele- 
brate International Wom- 
en’s Day on the eve of 
March 8. 

At the age of 18, vi- 
olinist Yu Lina won in- 
stant acclaim with her 
premiere performance of 
the violin concerto The 
Butterfly Lovers. Since 
that night 44 years ago, 
her name has been insep- 
arable from the immortal 

Pianist Bao Huiqiao 
rose to fame with her ren- 
dition of The Yellow Riv- 
er, a concerto interpreted 
by numerous Chinese pi- 
anists. Bao’s unique style 
always wins rousing ap- 

Min Huifen is an inter- 
nationally renowned Erhu 
player. Former conductor 
of the Philadelphia Or- 
chestra, the late Eugene 
Ormandy praised her as 
“a true musical genius,” 
and Japanese conductor 
Ozawa Seizi once said he 
was moved to tears by her 
performance of Water of 
Rivers and Lakes. 

The three distin- 
guished musicians will perform their represen- 
tative works, accompanied by the China Film 
Orchestra Symphony. 

Where: Cultural Palace of Nationalities The- 
ater When: March 7, 19:30 Admission: 80-480 

Bao Huiqiao 

Min Huifen 

Monologue Wins Over Audience 

By Nebula Dong 

Sitting in the center of the large stage, 
talking to white puppets, monologist Qin 
Yan performed Wo Ai Tai Gang (I Love 
Carrying Poles), from February 18 to 23 
at Beibingmasi Theater. 

Wo Ai Tai Gang, by Liu Shen, is the 
tragic story of an elderly coffin bearer, 
Guan Dachen, who has witnessed a cen- 
tury of history. With his coffin carrying 
poles, the legendary old man had car- 
ried the coffins of many famous people, 
including eunuchs and members of the 
royal family of the Qing Dynasty, a dem- 
ocratic leader in the 1920s’ and a modern 
TV star. 

While a few audience members found 
the performance less than riveting and 
left their seats halfway through, most 
people were captivated by the sarcastic 
language and extraordinary talent of the 

sole actor, Qin Yan. 

“Thanks to the experience of many 
years, I have the courage and capacity to 
stand on the stage by myself,” said the 
49-year-old actor, “It would really have 
been unimaginable for me to do such a 
thing ten years ago.” 

Chen Lin Releases New Album 

By Dong Nan 

Ten years after her debut I Can Nev- 
er Understand Your Tenderness, pop star 
Chen Lin released her sixth album Don’t 
Want to Cheat Myself on Friday last 

Unlike the soft, tender love songs of 
the past, the new record combines ele- 
ments of techno, acid rock and pop. 

Renowned pop and rock musicians from 
China, South Korea and Japan, including 
Fang Wenshan and Qu Shicong have lent 
their talents to recording Chen’s new album. 

Describing her new style as “fashion- 
able music,” Chen commented, “I believe 
my songs tell the universal feelings of 
our generation, rather than my own love, 
pain and career.” 

Chen’s 2001 album, Let Love Be sold 
an astonishing 58,000 units, and her re- 
cord company, Star Word Discs, hopes 
the latest one will hit one million. 


% • h 


Norah Jones Sweeps 
Grammy Awards 

The soft, jazzy voice of 
Norah Jones inviting listeners 
to Come Away With Me swept 
up eight Grammy Awards at 
the top music industry awards 
that were punctuated by a 
smattering of low key anti- 
war protests. 

Jones, 23, nominated per- 
sonally for five awards and 
tipped by many music critics 
to dominate the 45th annual 
Grammys, did just that by 
taking home the golden gram- 
ophone statuettes for Album 
of the Year, Best New Artist, 
Record of The Year for the sin- 
gle Don’t Know Why, Best Pop 
Vocal Album and Best Female 
Pop Vocal Album. (Reuters) 

Roman Polanski 

Polanski Victim Says 
Judge Oscar Favorite on 

The woman at the heart of 
a 1970s’ sex scandal that de- 
railed the career of Roman 
Polanski said she had no 
“hard feelings” toward the di- 
rector and that his actions 
25 years ago should not color 
whether he wins an Oscar 
next month. 

Polanski became a surprise 
front-runner for next month’s 
Oscars by winning best film 
and best director with The Pi- 
anist at Britain’s Bafta annu- 
al film awards Sunday. But 
Polanski, who fled to France 
in 1978 as he was about to be 
sentenced for having sex with 
a minor, still faces arrest the 
moment he steps foot in the 
United States. (Reuters) 
Princess Diana’s Former 
Lover Sues Fox News 

Princess Diana’s former lov- 
er James Hewitt filed a $1.08 
million breach of contract suit 
on Monday against Fox News, 
accusing the media company of 
firing him as a war correspon- 
dent for allegedly leaking the 
story of his deal. 

In a complaint filed in 
Manhattan Supreme Court, 
the former British Army com- 
mander claimed he lost the 
job after an article ran in Jan- 
uary in the London Daily Mir- 
ror saying Fox hired him to 
report from the Persian Gulf 
for a salary of $159,000. 

The international media 
picked up the story, and head- 
lines appeared ridiculing Fox 
for hiring Hewitt as a corre- 
spondent. (Reuters) 

George Clooney 

Actor George Clooney 
Frustrated by US War 

American actor George 
Clooney stepped up his crit- 
icism of George W. Bush’s 
administration on Sunday, 
saying he feared a war against 
Iraq was inevitable but would 
ultimately only lead to more 

“America’s policies frustrate 
me,” Clooney said in a German 
television program. “I think a 
war against Iraq is as unavoid- 
able as it is senseless. I think 
it’s coming. But I also think the 
real danger is going to be what 
happens after it.” (Reuters) 
Day-Lewis Favorite to 
Scoop Oscar for Best 

British actor Daniel Day- 
Lewis was tipped Monday 
as the favorite to win the Os- 
car for best actor following 
his success at Sunday’s Bafta 
awards for his role in Gangs 
of New York. 

Leading British bookmak- 
er Ladbrokes said Day-Lewis, 
who won best actor at the Brit- 
ish film awards, has replaced 
former frontrunner Jack Nich- 
olson as the clear favorite 
for the coveted award with 
odds of ten-elevenths. Nichol- 
son was nominated for his part 
in About Schmidt. (Reuters) 

Daniel Day-Lewis 


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FEBRUARY 28, 2003 



Toys for Tots 

By Huang Lisha 

F inding toys to satisfy the young 
ones is no problem in this city 
However, parents looking for fun 
items that will also encourage their kids 
to use their minds face a more difficult 
task. One solution, albeit a relatively 
expensive one, is T.O.T.S (The Original 
Toy Store), a Singaporean store that of- 
fers a wide range of constructive, enter- 
taining toys to keep children, and the 
whole family, busy for hours. 

One way to get the family together 
is “Scotland Yard” (389 yuan), a mystery 
board game for three to six persons. One 
player is Mr. X, and the others are Scot- 
land Yard detectives on his trail. In this 
exciting game, the police must work to- 
gether to grab their quarry before he can 
slip away (and win). 

A simpler offering is “Building House” 
(569 yuan), a game 
targeted at kids 
around five years 
old. The set comes 
with colored plaster, 
which, when mixed 
with water, poured 
into special molds 
and left for 24 hours, 
forms tiny tiles and 
bricks. Following the 
set’s instructions, 
those pieces can 
then be glued to- 
gether to form a 
beautiful miniature 
three-story building. 

The process is less 
complicated than it 
sounds, but does 
take some adult su- 

Puzzle fans young 
and old should check 
out the world’s small- 
est puzzles, on sale in 
T.O.T.S. The 99-piece 
puzzles are only six 
centimeters wide and 
seven centimeters 
long. They come in 
sixteen versions, all 
of which are repro- 
ductions of works by 
Van Gogh or M.C. 

Escher. Despite their small size, they are 
not cheap, going for 89 yuan each. 

Knowing that everyone likes to have 
fun, T.O.T.S also stocks items for the older 
crowd, such as the Puzzle series of brain- 
bending toys. Among them, Magic Box 
(159 yuan) is an ideal gift for that special 
someone. The cover of the tricky box is in- 
scribed with the character for “love” in the 
script of the Dongba minority, which looks 
like a boy giving a flower to a girl. Watch 
in amusement as a loved one struggles to 
pry open the top to the beautiful wooden 
box (it can only be opened when turned 
to the correct angle). 

Where: No. 230, Full Link Plaza, 
Chaoyang Open: 10 am - 9 pm Tel: 6588 

Zengzufu Building blocks, 

1,290 yuan (top) 

Pyramid ” blocks, 249 yuan (below) 

Natural Weaves 

By Salinda 

Willow branches can be used as the 
raw material for unusual baskets and 
other objects that are both useful and can 
give a spring-like feel to a room. The No. 
4086 stand in the Yaxiu Clothes Market 
sells all sorts of goods woven from willow, 
from small containers to larger items such 
as folding screens, tables and seats. 

Pieces made from willow have a lot go- 
ing for them. Because of the material’s 
airy yet sturdy character, clothes in willow 
cabinets do not get moldy, hot food cools 
quickly in bowls that will retain their 
shape and seats can help keep tushies 
cool in the summer. Another plus is their 
prices. Because this stand receives their 
goods direct from a factory in Shandong 
Province, costs are very low, with most 
items going for only 50 to 150 yuan. 

Moreover, even though only one ma- 
terial is used in the pieces, they cover a 
wide range of styles, in part because of 
different dyes used. Colors can range 
from basic milky white and yellow to 
brown, red, sienna and coffee color. Some 
items, mostly baskets, come covered in 
colorful pieces of cloth that do 
not impede their function- 
ality while improving their 

Willow weaves can 
even spruce up your floor 
in the form of small cush- 
ions that come in a variety 
of animal-inspired shapes and 
sell for under 100 yuan each. 
Colorful bags, shoes and coast- 
ers cost only around 10 yuan a 
piece and make nice gifts or de- 
tails for the home. 

Where: No.4086, Yaxiu 

Clothes Market, Sanlitun, 
Chaoyang Open: 9:30 am - 7:30 
Woven chest, 60 yuan pm Tel: 13161 171839 

Basket, 70 yuan 

Stitches in lime 

By Huang Lisha 

For thousands of years, Chinese 
artisans have been creating outstand- 
ing paintings and embroidered works. 
It has only been in the past 80-or-so 
years, however, that those two arts 
have come together in a new media 
called luanzhen xiu. The art form, 
which translates directly to “random 
needlework,” is the invention of artist 
Yang Shouyu of Jiangsu Province. 

The secret to this kind of embroi- 
dery is in the details. Through very 
careful stitching, luanzhen xiu pieces 
have the sheen and precision of fine 
oil paintings, with a luster and beau- 
ty all their own. Yang’s masterpiece, 
Image of President Roosevelt , was pre- 
sented to the United States by the 
Chinese government in 1945, and is 
now part of the collection of a major 
art museum in New York. 

In more recent years, there has 
been a luanzhen xiu revival, as young- 
er artists like Shi Yunxia have taken 
up and improved the tradition. Ac- 
cording to Shi, this form of embroi- 
dery shares one main feature with 
oil painting - the use of one ground- 
ing color. Also like painters, luanzhen 
xiu artists layer silk thread over that 
main color to add richness and detail 
to their pieces. That is a pain-staking 
process, and one work can take two or 
three months to complete. 

Some of Shi’s pieces are vivid 
copies of well-known paintings, such 
as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa 
(18,000 yuan). Another stand-out is 

Fanciful Fish 

Doggy cushion, 15 yuan 

Photos by Peng Jianwei 

By Salinda 

Warmish weather, refresh- 
ing rains, buds on the trees - 
spring is on its way. What bet- 
ter way to celebrate than to 
add a little life to your home 
in the form of an aquarium 
full of exotic, fun fish. 

A great place to stock up 
on little swimmers is the 
China Vegetable Great Forest Flow- 
er Market, a huge complex that 
houses over 50 fish retailers. Those 
stores offer over 1,000 species of 
fish, from mundane goldfish to exot- 
ic creatures of the seas. 

One favorite fish pet is the sev- 
en-colored deity ( qicai shenxian or 
yanyu), known for their bright 
red color. They come in a wide 
range of varieties and prices, 
differing by species and size. A 
small fish can go for just 30 yuan, 
while the most expensive fetch 
around 1,000 yuan each. 

At those kinds of prices, you want to make 
sure the occupants of your aquarium are in top 
health. There are three keys to picking healthy 
fish. First, the water in the shop’s aquarium 
should be completely clear and fresh-looking. 
Second, the fish in question should be active. 
Finally, check the gills and make sure they are 
clean and free of growths or sores. 

Photos by Cui Hao 

a portrait of Princess Dianna (15,000 
yuan), done in such detail that it is 
easily mistaken for a photograph from 
anything but a short distance. The 
amazing degree of detail that char- 
acterizes luanzhen xiu is obvious in 
Lion (18,000 yuan), another of Shi’s 
masterpieces, in which the lion’s mane 
is remarkably life-like. 

Where: Room 419 Jinhaiyang Ho- 
tel, No. 61 Andelu Bing, Dongcheng 
Open: 9 am - 9 pm Tel: 13910 664892 

JUWEL pedestal tank, 
8,600 yuan 

Photos hy Peng Jianwei 

A school of seven- colored diefies 

Those looking to drop some serious gold on 
their fish should look past the seven-colored 
deity and go for the bright, shapely longyu 
(dragon fish). One store that specializes in 
these bold creatures offers one large specimen 
at the kingly price of 60,000 yuan. A less ex- 
pensive version from Malaysia sells for 18,000 

Of course if you are going to buy fish, you 
have to give them a home. The stores in the 
Great Forest market offer a complete range of 
aquariums and equipment, including foreign 
brands such as Atman and Tetra. A high-quali- 
ty tank costs from 2,000 yuan to 20,000 yuan, 
but is worth the extra money, as they provide 
the best places to enjoy views of the fascinating 
underwater world. Complete that world with 
figurines, toys, plants and other decorations to 
delight fish and humans alike. 

Where: No.5, Zaojunmiaolu, Haidian Open: 
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FEBRUARY 28, 2003 




That success has led to the open- 
ing of another branch in Haidian 
district that started trial busi- 
ness this month and will hold its 
official launch in March. 

The new establishment can seat 
128 in western-style and tatami 
rooms. General manager Pan Jin- 
sheng has worked in the restau- 

Assorted sushi for three, 150 yuan 

rant industry for 16 years and 
studied in Tokyo for two. He said, 
“we make food the way Japanese 
do at home,” a claim backed up by 
a head chef who has worked in Ja- 
pan for eight years. 

Compared to the rest of these 
top-level Japanese restaurants, the 
prices at Hanakuruma are low. The 
sashimi set meal costs 100 yuan, 
one third the price of the same dish 
at many competitors. The tempura 
eel set goes for 75 yuan and edo- 
mae sushi for three a reasonable 
150 yuan. The price level for dishes 
is the lowest when compared with 
the other mentioned top-level res- 
taurants. A sashimi set meal fetch- 
es 100 yuan, one third the price 
of the same meal in other restau- 
rants. The menu includes over 50 
varieties of sushi, starting at a low 
8 yuan. 

Add: Second floor, Zhongdian 
Building, No. 6 Zhongguancun 
Nandajie, Haidian Open: 11:30 
am - 10 pm Tel: 6250 1786 

Add: First floor, Guangming 
Hotel, Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoy- 
ang District Tel: 6467 8822 ext. 
6607 Average cost: 80 yuan per 

Yuanlu Kaiten Sushi 

This strong suit of this pioneer- 
ing mid-price Japanese restaurant 
is its sushi. Kaiten is the Japa- 
nese word for the conveyer belt 
that runs around the middle of the 
restaurant, carrying fresh sushi 
to customers. Costs are calculated 
on color-coded plates. The cheapest 
sushi option is just 4 yuan for six 
small rolls, while the most expen- 
sive is 30 yuan for tuna sushi. 

Three kinds of sushi at Yuanlu 

The menu also offers set meals 
including rice, stewed egg curd, 
pickled vegetables, miso and salad 
with an average charge of 40 yuan. 
Manager Zhang Lei recommends 
the house special, grilled eel, which 
goes for 60 yuan. Another popular 
choice is the shabu-shabu, Jap- 
anese-style hotpot, that costs 98 

Add: First floor, Zhonghua 
Building, No. 2 A Fuxingmenwai 
Dajie Open: 11 am - 10 pm 
Tel: 6856 9209 Average cost: 40 
yuan and up per person 

Other Japanese 
restaurants in the city: 

Nishimura Restaurant 
at Shangri-La Hotel 
Tel: 6841 2211 ext. 2719 
Tokyo Restaurant 
at Kunlun Hotel 

Tel: 6500 3388 ext. 5695 
Jianghuchuan Restaurant 
at Taiwan Hotel 

Tel: 6513 6688 ext. 8034 
Kawa Restaurant at Swissotel 
Tel: 6501 2288 ext. 2133 
Sansilang Restaurant 
Tel: 6506 9625, 6506 9626 
Songzhumei Restaurant 
Tel: 64607058 
Genji Restaurant 
at Hilton Hotel 

Tel: 6466 2288 ext. 7402 
Fujiya Restaurant 
at Media Center 

Tel: 6851 4422 ext. 4279 

Photos by Zhuang Jian 

By James Liu 

T he Japanese are 
clearly onto 
something - they 
have the longest healthy 
life expectancy of the 
people of any nation on 
Earth, according to a 
study conducted by the 
United Nations World 
Health Organization in 
2000. In that study, 
scientists linked their 
health in large part to 
their low-fat diet. 

Another charm of 
Japanese food is its 
emphasis on fresh, seasonal 
ingredients. So, now that 
winter is making way to 
spring, the time is right to 
enjoy this refined, healthy 

The most traditional 
Japanese meal is a 
combination of plain white 
rice with a main dish of 
fish or meat, a side dish, 
normally vegetables, soup 
and pickled vegetables. 

A typical Japanese 
dinner starts with some 
pickled carrot or radish, 
followed by sashimi, slices 
of fresh raw fish served 
with a pungent dipping 
sauce of soy sauce and 
wasabi, green Japanese 
horseradish. Among the 
more popular kinds of 
sashimi are maguro ( tuna) 
and toro (fatty tuna). 

The next main course 
is an archetypal Japanese 
food — tempura, deep fried 
seafood and vegetables. All 
the essential qualities of 
Japanese cuisine are 
reflected in the preparation 
of tempura: fresh 
ingredients, artful 
presentation, and precise 
technique. The results are 
battered and fried treats 
that are crisp and light, not 
heavy and greasy. Shrimp 
are prized for tempura 

Rice is the staple of 
Japan, served either on its 
own or as part of sushi, the 
most famous Japanese dish. 
Sushi is made of bundles 
of rice mixed with sushi 
vinegar and topped with 
slices of different materials, 
most commonly raw fish. It 
also comes in roll form, the 
whole package contained 
in a tasty seaweed skin. 

Even modest restaurants 
can offer a wide range of 
sushi options, while many 
of the over 100 Japanese 
restaurants in the capital 
call themselves sushi 

Dining Japanese style 
does come at a price, 
however, as many 
ingredients are imported, 
even flown in, to ensure 
their freshness. Shrewd 
businessmen have started 
trying to tap the popularity 
of the cuisine by pawning 
off cheaper versions of 
Japanese classics using 
frozen fish and shrimp and 
other sub-par ingredients. 
Unfortunately, many 
customers cannot tell 
between authentic and 
knock-off Japanese food, 
and may have poor 
impressions of the cuisine. 
On the other hand, the rise 
in competition has forced 
even top-level restaurants to 
lower their prices. 

restaurants in the capital 
are Gonin Byakusho at 
Beijing Hotel, Sakura at 
Beijing New Otani 
ChangFuGong Hotel, 
Nishimura at Shangri-la 
Hotel Beijing, Nadaman at 
China World Hotel and the 
Huache Restaurant. Beijing 
Today also checked out a 
less expensive alternative 
offering fast mid-quality 

Photo provided by China World Hotel 

paper-covered lanterns, classic 
paintings, dark brown tables 
and blue door curtains. Waitress- 
es serve customers in kimonos, 
white socks and wooden san- 

The gigantic menu, written in 
English, Japanese, and Chinese, 
offers a large range of choices, 
including house specialties tuna 
tempura and grilled eel. Prices 
also run a wide spectrum, from 
360 yuan for a fatty tuna set 
meal (jinqiangyu taocan) to spe- 
cial sets for children based on 
sushi, fried chicken or fried po- 
tatoes that go for 45 yuan plus 
a 15 percent of service charge. 
There are more than 30 kinds of 
sushi on the menu, most priced 
around 25 yuan, while more ex- 
otic items, such as ark shell 
sashimi (70 yuan for five pieces) 
can cost quite a bit more. 

Add: First floor, Building E, 
Beijing Hotel, No. 33 Dongchang’an 
Avenue, Dongcheng Open: 11:30 
am - 2 pm, 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm Tel: 
6513 7766 ext. 666 Average cost: 
about 160 yuan per person 

Nadaman Restaurant 

Nadaman is a wildly success- 
ful chain founded in Japan in 
1830. More recently, that success 
has led the group to expand out- 
side of Japan’s border, and it has 
set up six restaurants overseas, 

including one in Beijing. 

Diners can get a complete cul- 
tural experience in four washitsi 
rooms, private rooms furnished 
with tatami mats, named after 
Japan’s four most treasured 
plants: the orchid, pine, bamboo 
and winter sweet. The main din- 
ing room can comfortably accom- 
modate up to 116 customers. 

The restaurant provides To- 
kyo and Osaka-Kyoto style food, 
as well as the more exoteric kiri 
kaiseki cuisine. Kiri kaiseki food 
originated in Japanese temples, 
where monks used to eat only 
two vegetarian meals a day to 
show their tolerance and self-re- 
straint. When the monks were 
too cold and hungry to concen- 
trate on their studies, they put 
a warm stone in their arms to 
warm up and stave off their hun- 
ger, a practice called kiri kaiseki. 
After centuries of this practice, 
that name was applied to mon- 
astery cuisine, which now has a 
reputation as top quality food. 

Chef Kobayashi making artful dishes 

Gonin Byakusho 

This Sino- Japanese joint ven- 
ture restaurant was one of the 
first Japanese restaurants in 
Beijing, opening in 1984. Its high 
level cuisine has drawn such 
distinguished guests as former 
prime minsters of Japan. 

Head chef Kobayashi, one of 
two Japanese in the kitchen, has 
worked at the restaurant for 12 
years. He maintains strict stan- 
dards for the quality and fresh- 
ness of all ingredients. 

The restaurant is furnished in 
traditional Japanese style, with 

Eel and rice set meal (70 yuan) 

Gone are the vegetarian limits - 
today, kiri kaiseki is a massive 
feast using the best ingredients, 
including fresh beef and sea- 

Manager Matsuzawa offered 
Beijing Today readers a sug- 
gestion for telling top shrimp 
tempura from lesser versions. 
In good tempura, the tails of 
the shrimp are wide open, while 
they are closed in bad attempts. 
The restaurant’s large menu is 
printed in English, Japanese 
and Chinese. 

Add: Third floor, China World 
Hotel, No. 1 Jianguomenwai Da- 
jie Open: 11:30 am - 2 pm, 5:30 
pm - 9:30 pm Tel: 6505 2266 
ext. 39 Average cost: about 200 
yuan per person 

Small sashimi boat, 380 yuan 

Hanakuruma Restaurant 

From its vantage point in 
the Guangming Hotel, this eat- 
ery has enjoyed a close tie with 
the Japanese embassy across the 
street since opening in 1998. 

Dining Out 

Asian Food Street 

Visiting Chef Rocky Chua from 
Singapore will join the Coffee Gar- 
den team, to draw on multi-ethnic 
heritage of the various Asian coun- 
tries and recreate their authentic 
delicacies, including Malaysian lak- 
sa noodle soup, Indonesian nonya 
pork and many others. Where: 
Coffee Garden, Shangri-La Hotel 
When: Daily 11:30 am-2:15 pm, 
5:30 pm-9:30 pm, Tel: 6841 2211 
ext. 2715 

Gourmet Creperie 

Cuisine Galley, the first cre- 
perie restaurant in Beijing, of- 
fers an exciting a-la-carte menu 

and a wide variety of gourmet 
crepes. Where: Cuisine Galley, 
Novotel Xinqiao Beijing, No. 2 
Dongjiaominxiang, Chongwen. 
Tel: 6513 3366 ext. 2201. 

Bubbly Sunday Brunch 

Due to popular demand, Sun- 
day brunches with champagne and 
live oysters continue at the Garden 
Court restaurant. Where: St.Regis 
Beijing. Cost: 218 yuan plus 15 
percent, includes juice, coffee or 
tea. 398 yuan plus 15 percent in- 
cludes free flow of Veuve Clicquot 
champagne, juices, coffee or tea. 
Tel: 6460 6688 ext. 2340 

Cocktail Specials 

Starting in March, Lobby 

Lounge bartenders will create de- 
licious, nutritious virgin fruit cock- 
tails. “Cool Running”, made from 
honeydew melon and cucumber is 
one of the six irresistible creations. 
Where: Lobby Lounge, Kerry Cen- 
tre Hotel Cost: all cocktails 68 
each Tel: 6561 8833 

Surf ‘n Turf Night 

Starting March 1, discover 
theme dinners every Saturday 
at Silk Road Trattoria. Tomor- 
row, it’s surf ‘n turf night! 
Mouthwatering grilled skewers 
meld chicken, lamb, beef, lobster, 
prawns and more. Also enjoy 
a bountiful buffet. Where: Silk 
Road Trattoria, the Great Wall 
Sheraton Hotel Beijing Tel: 6590 

5566 ext. 2117 or 6590 5888 

Special weekend treat for 
ladies only! 

Fifty percent off the regular 
buffet price for Saturday and 
Sunday lunch and dinner buffets 
for all women. Where: Traders 
Cafe, Traders Hotel. When: 12 
am-2 pm, 6 pm - 10 pm Cost: 80 
yuan per person (women only) 
Tel: 6505 2277 ext. 35 

Chinese Festival Dim Sum 
and Specialty 

Chef Huang Rongkun from 
Macau has prepared a sumptu- 
ous menu, such as steamed pork 
dumplings with quail eggs, fish 
ball and sea moss, pork knuck- 

les with preserved bean curd, 
and pan-fried Chinese coconut 
pudding. Where: Dynasty, fourth 
floor, Jingguang New World Ho- 
tel. Tel: 6597 3388 ext. 2599 

German Food Fair 

This March, come join in the 
German Food Fair at Gloria Pla- 
za Hotel’s Atrium Cafe and en- 
joy hearty servings of German 
sausages, Bavarian roast pork 
knuckle, lamb chops, sauerkraut, 
mustard pickles and more. Cost: 
98 yuan per person for lunch, 
128 yuan per person for dinner. 
All prices subject to 15 percent 
service charge. Tel: 6515 8855 
ext. 3212 

By Wesley Lei 

The World’s Tastiest 
Health Food? 



Yu Lina and Bao Huiqiao 

Oscar Film Themes Symphony 

Film highlights accompanied by the 
theme music performed live is one of 
the more unusual upcoming attractions 
in Beijing. The China Opera and Dance 
Drama Theatre Symphony Orchestra 
claims it is the most authoritative one 
for the job as it records such music for 
many of the films. Familiar tunes will 
be featured from films like Titanic, Ju- 
rassic Park, Waterloo Bridge. 

Where: Nationality Cultural Palace 
Theatre When: March 8, 7:30 pm Ad- 
mission: 80-380 yuan Tel: 6528 7674 
ext 508 


Non-Western Instruments in 
Western Contemporary Music 

Canadian-Chinese musician Han 
Mei, is an improvisational artist who 
plays traditional Chinese instruments. 
She has two Master’s degrees in ethno- 
musicology, one from the Musical Re- 
search Institute of the Chinese Arts 
Academy, another from the university 
of British Columbia. She has toured 
North America performing both tradi- 
tional Chinese music and contempo- 
rary scores by Canadian and Chinese 
composers, and is performing in Beijing 
this week. She and her friend Randy 
Raine-Reusch, a composer and multi- 
instrumentalist, will host a lecture on 
“Non- Western Instruments in Western 
Contemporary Music.” 

Where: Central Conservatory of Mu- 
sic When: March 4 Tel: 6506 5345 



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free to email us at bjtodayinfo @ or call 6590 2522 

By Guo Yuandan 


FEBRUARY 28, 2003 

musical styles, includ- 
ing trip-hop, dub, folk, 
jazz, reggae, psychede- 
lia, soul and R’n’B. Vo- 
calist Skye Edwards 
is the focal point of 
Morcheeba, offset by 
brothers Ross Godfrey 
(guitars, bass, 

keyboards) and Paul 
Godfrey (drums, per- 
cussion, scratching). 

Where: Yan Club, 4 
Jiuxianqiao Lu, Cha- 
oyang When: March 
8-9, 7:30 pm Admis- 
sion: adults 150 yuan, 
students 80 yuan Tel: 
8457 3506 


Skye Edwards and Godfrey brothers 

British trip-hop 
outfit Morcheeba will 
play in Beijng in 
March. The band, who 
have released albums 

including Who Can 
You Trust, Big Calm 
and Charango since 
their inception in 
1995, merge a mix of 

Great Wall — eight towers high 

This hike was originally planned for 
February, but was canceled due to the 
snow. It is a flexible walk on a stretch of 
the Great Wall to the west of Shentangyu 
Valley. Our local guide will take us along 
the wall, passing eight guard towers and 
then back from a valley. Those who want 
an easier walk can hike along the wall 
with the main group as far as they want 
and come back the same way. 

Where: Huairou, north of Beijing 
When: March 2, meet 8:30 am outside 
Starbucks at Lido Hotel, or 9 am at 
Capital Paradise front gate, return 
5 pm Admission: adults 150 yuan, 
children 100 yuan Tel: 13701 003694 

Lu Qi as Deng Xiaoping 

Deng Xiaoping 

Directed by Ding Yinmeng, starring 
Lu Qi. This is the first cinematic attempt 
to examine Deng Xiaoping’s mature ca- 
reer. The story begins on the 35th anni- 
versary of the founding of the PRC on 
October 1, 1984 and traces back to 1976. 
The movie spans the twenty years from 
Deng’s return to power through to his 
last visit to southern China. In Chinese. 

Where: local cinemas When: 

throughout March 

Directed by Zhang Yimou, starring 
Jet Lee, Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung, Mag- 
gie Cheung, Chen Daoming. Nominat- 
ed for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. 
Chinese with English subtitles. 

Where: Cherry Lane Movies, 29 Li- 
angmaqiao Lu When: February 28-29, 8 
pm Admission: 40 yuan Tel: 6430 1398 
Cala, My Dog 

Directed by Lu Xuechang, starring 
Ge You. The story is about a middle- 
aged working man, known as Lao Er, 
whose chief source of stability and 
comfort in life is his dog, Cala. One 
day, when his wife is out walking 
Cala, a policeman confiscates the un- 
registered canine. As Lao Er endeav- 
ors to recover his dog, the difficult 
circumstances of his life are revealed. 
In Chinese. 

Where: local cinemas When: from 
March 5 


Zheng Concert 

Canadian-Chinese musician Han Mei 
will perform with the China Philharmon- 
ic Orchestra. She will combine the zheng 
with western instruments while retain- 
ing the essence and beauty of the tradi- 
tional instrument. In this concert she will 
perform When Cranes Fly Home, written 
especially for her by American-Singapor- 
ean composer John Sharpley. 

Where: Poly Theatre When: March 
2, 7:30 pm Admission: 50-300 yuan 
Tel: 6506 5354 

The Red Detachment of Women 

Performed by the Central Ballet of 
China, this classic revolutionary ballet 
focuses on a group of female soldiers 
in Hainan Island during the Civil War 
(1927-1937). If the idea of rifle-toting, 
khaki-clad ballerinas does something 
for you, this is an opportunity not to be 

Where: Poly Theatre When: March 
7-8, 7:30 pm Admission: 180-680 yuan 
Tel: 6528 7674 ext 508 

Painting by Zhang Jin 

Universal Diversity 

An exhibition by three renowned 
contemporary Chinese artists: Yang 
Gang, Zhang Jin and Bob Yan. 

Where: Yan Club Arts Centre, 4 

Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang When: till 
March 28, 10 am-7 pm Admission: 
free Tel: 8457 3506 
The Model of Time — Lei Feng 

An exhibition featuring propaganda 
materials related to Lei Feng, whose 
name is synonymous with doing good. 
It includes stamps, photos, books and 
films, some of which are on public dis- 
play for the first time. 

Where: Dazhongsi Guzhong Mu- 
seum, (Big Bell Temple Museum) 31 
Beisanhuan Xilu, Haidian When: till 
March 18, 10 am-4 pm Tel: 6255 0843 

will give a special concert to mark 
next week’s Woman’s Day. See Page 12 
for details. 

Where: Nationality Cultural Palace 
Theatre When: March 7, 7:30 pm Ad- 
mission: 80-480 yuan Tel: 6528 7674 
ext 508 

Calligraphy by Yang Yang 

Feng Feng, Zhang Chen and 
Yang Yang 

Feng Feng oil paintings feature a 
combination of ancient and modern. 
Zhang Chen oil paintings are based 
on life in northeast of China, ex- 
pressing his love for his hometown. 
Yang Yang’s calligraphy work con- 
sists of love stories and poems, deco- 
rated with flowers. 

Where: Qin Gallery, Huaweili En- 
joy Paradise 1-1E (North of Beijing Cu- 
rio City) Chaoyang When: February 
28-March 14, 9:30 am-7 pm Admis- 
sion: free Tel: 8779 0461 


Music at Get Lucky 

Tomorrow night Red Crystal (Hong 
Shuijing) and No Color ( Meiyou 
Yanse ) be on the stage. Next Thurs- 
day, Folk Music magazine will host an 
evening of unplugged tunes, featuring 
Xiaohe, Meihao Yaodian ( Beautiful 
Drugstore) Wan Xiaoli, Feixu (Ruin), 
Buyi (Cotton Cloth) and Muma (Wood- 
en Horse). 

Where: Get Lucky, 500 meters east 
of the south gate of University of In- 
ternational Business and Economics, 
Chaoyang When: 9:30 pm Admission: 
adults 40 yuan, students 30 yuan Tel: 
6429 9109 

666 live at Banana 

All the way from German, 666 have 
had a string of hits in Europe, including 
Alarma, Amokk, Paradoxx and Bomba. 

Where: Banana Club, Jianguomen- 
wai Dajie When: March 7, 8:30 pm Ad- 
mission: 80 yuan at door, presale 60 
yuan Tel: 13910 051803 
ESL and Sand 

ESL from Japan are playing tonight, 
on Saturday, Sand (Shazi) will hit the 

Where: What, opposite north gate 
of Business and Economics University, 
Chaoyang When: 9 pm Admission: 20 
yuan Tel: 13910 209249 
Christian Smith 

DJ and producer Christian Smith, 
brings his amalgamation of funky house 
and tribal techno to Beijing. 

Where: the Club When: February 
28, 10 pm Tel: 13001 135089 
Immortal Beethoven 
Fifth of a series 

The China Philharmonic Orchestra 
performs Piano concerto No. 1 in C Ma- 
jor, symphony No. 1 C in Major and 

Where: Poly Theatre When: March 

15, 7:30 pm Admission: 50-380 yuan 
Tel: 6528 7674 ext 508 

Yun-di Li Piano Recital Concert 

As a talented young pianist, Yun-di 
Li was awarded the Gold Medal of the 
International Chopin Piano Competi- 
tion in 2000, becoming both the young- 
est winner and the first Chinese to 
receive this honor. The International 
Chopin Piano Competition is held ev- 
ery five years and there were no gold 
medals awarded in the previous two 

Where: Poly Theatre When: March 

16, 7:30 pm Admission: 180-880 yuan 
Tel: 6528 7674 ext 508 

Irish Chamber Orchestra 
Beijing Tour 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is 
one of Ireland’s most accomplished 
ensembles. Consisting of the creme 
de la creme of Irish string players, 
this orchestra has received plaudits 
both at home and abroad for its high 
standards of performance. Under the 
artistic direction of Fionnuala Hunt, 
and with the appointment in 1998 
of celebrated conductor and violinist, 
Bruno Giuranna as principal guest 
conductor, the orchestra continues to 
give a new and refreshing perspec- 
tive on the chamber music repertoire 
through its inimitable approach to 

Where: Forbidden City Concert Hall 
When: March 28, 7:30 pm Admission: 
80-580 yuan Tel: 6528 7674 ext 508 

Famous Female 
Musicians’ Concert 

Three renowned female musicians 

Imperial Tomb Construction 
and Concept 

Professor Zhao Tiesheng will un- 
veil the history and principles of 
Qingdongling (Eastern Qing Tombs) 
in Hebei, which have been listed 
as a World Heritage Site, and the 
Ming Tombs in Beijing, discussing the 
fengshui and imperial design method- 
ology used by emperors of China. Eng- 
lish traslation provide. 

Where: Lee’s Antique Carpet, Li- 
angmaqiao Lu, close to 21st Century 
Hotel When: March 1, 2:30-4:30 pm 
Admission: adults 40 yuan, students 
30 yuan Tel: 8851 4913 
Beauty of the Temple of Heaven 
A leading scholar in aesthetics 
from Beijing University, Yang Xin, 
will discuss the construction of the 
Temple of Heaven, and contrast it 
with that of Forbidden City. English 
traslation provided. 

Where: Lee’s Antique Carpet, Li- 
angmaqiao Lu, near 21st Century Hotel 
When: March 2, 2:30-4:30 pm Admis- 
sion: adults 40 yuan, students 30 yuan 
Tel: 8851 4913 
Health Lectures 

Professionals from the Beijing 
Friendship Hospital present a series 
of health-related lectures on mental 
health, diet and more. In Chinese only. 

Where: Beijing Friendship Hospi- 
tal, 95 Yong’an Lu, Xuanwu When: 
March 6, 2 pm Admission: free Tel: 
6301 4411 ext 3482 

Dear Elena Sergeevna 

Based on a drama produced in the for- 
mer Soviet Union and performed by stu- 
dents of the China Central Academy of 
Drama as their graduation presentation. 
The drama reflects serious issues and sat- 
irizes society and the education system. 
The story concerns a group of students 
who set out to play a cruel game on their 
teacher, a weak, but kind young woman. 

Where: China Children’s Theatre, 64 
Dong’anmennei Dajie When: March 4-19, 
7:30 pm (except March 10) Admission: 
40-200 yuan Tel: 6528 7673 ext 508 
The Heavens and the Human World 

Directed by Mu Tou, starring Wang 
Quanyou, Li Jian, Wei Chunrong and 
Tang Hexiang. 

A couple has been married for years. 
They have a common and regular life, so 
they become fed up and decide to change 
partners and start a new life. But after 
a while, they are fed up with their new 
lives again. They want to change back, 
but how and what to change? 

Where: Beibingmasi Theatre, Beib- 
ingmasi Hutong, Jiaodaokou Nadajie, 
Dongcheng When: till March 9, 7:30 pm 
Admission: adults 80 yuan, students 30 
yuan Tel: 6406 0175, 6404 8021 

populay comedy actor Chen Peisi 


A four-act comedy drama. Tuo’er re- 
fers to people who can help artists achieve 
their aims. Comedian Chen Peisi stars as 
a man who opens a matchmaking compa- 
ny. The hero invites his wife and relatives 
to act as his Tuo’er to attract rich bache- 
lors. Hoping to get rich by doing business 
with one wealthy bachelor, he finds him- 
self caught in a dilemma when his wife 
unexpectedly falls in love with the client, 
an overseas Chinese businessman. 

Where: Chang’ an Theatre When: 
March 6-9, 7:30 pm Admission: 80-480 
yuan Tel: 6528 7673 ext 198 
Crazy Teaching Methods 

Performed by Wuren Didai (No Man’s 
Land), a Hong Kong group founded by 
Deng Shurong in 1997, this drama re- 
lies heavily on body language to depict 
the life of a misunderstood teacher. Also 
includes a generous sprinkling of Can- 
tonese ad slogans and one-liners. 

Where: Beibingmasi Theatre, Beibing- 
masi Hutong, Jiaodaokou Nadajie When: 
February 28, 7:15 pm Admission: 30-120 
yuan Tel: 6406 0175, 6404 8021 

Jiangnan scene by Li Xiongcai 

Contemporary Art Exhibition 

This exhibition includes oil painting, 
watercolors, prints and other artworks. 
Paintings by renowned Li Xiongcai, 
the leading exponent of the Ling Nan 
school, feature powerful brush strokes 
and are full of boundless energy. Se- 
lected new works by Feng Linzhang, 
Hu Yongkai, Song Di and Wang Min- 
gming will also be shown, as well as 
the super realism of Liu Baomin, Xin 
Yi and Yin Kun. 

Where: Wangfung Gallery, 136 Nan- 
chizi Dajie When: March 1-28, 10 am-7 
pm Admission: free Tel: 6523 3320 

Red door by Zhang Guoning 

Remember Old Beijing 

Zhang Guoning, graduate of the 
Painting Department of Beijng Teach- 
er’s College, has a strong affection for 
the hutong and siheyuan of the ancient 
capital. His oil paintings show tortu- 
ous and narrow lanes, houses and sur- 
rounding walls and red doors with the 
paint peeling. 

Where: Da A Oil Paintings Studio, 
42 Beiwa Lu, Xibalizhuang, Haidian 
When: March 1-April 1,10 am-10 pm 
Admission: free Tel: 13501 253020 

Nine Artists 

Wang Huaxiang, Zheng Xuewu and 
others present the latest fruits of 
their musings. Includes Wang Huax- 
iang’s woodcuts and Zheng Xuewu’s 
densely wrought mixed media works. 
Painter-poet Feng Feng displays his 
stark abstract pieces, which often 
contain mineral pigments for an add- 
ed richness. 

Where: Red Gate Gallery When: till 
March 9, 10 am-5 pm (Tuesday to Sun- 
day) Admission: free Tel: 6525 1005 
Xie Daren Exhibition 

Xie Daren has been painting on lac- 
quer for 30 years. His paintings have 
been exhibited in Japan, France Amer- 
ica, Italian and Spain 

Where: Fa Fa Gallery, 2 Xiangjiang 
Beilu, Jingshun Lu, Quanta Garden 
Clubhouse, Chaoyang When: March 
16-31, 9 am-10 pm Admission: free 
Tel: 8430 2587 

Village by Wang Jianren 

Wang Jianren Exhibition 

During 14 years living abroad, oil 
painter Wang Jianren has never 
stopped thinking of the motherland and 
its rich culture. This exhibition features 
the architectural world of China, paint- 
ed with love and respect for the ancient 
civilization and his country. 

Where: Creation Gallery, north end 
of Ritan Donglu When: March 2-9, 10 
am-7 pm Admission: free Tel: 8561 

Temple of Heaven 

FEBRUARY 28, 2003 

7 ) 





Gangu County 
County \ 









Fuxi Temple 





Ming Dynasty blue and white 
porcelain jar 




Southern China in the North 

By Guo Yuandan 

Tiny in scale compared 
to some of Beijing’s better 
known museums, the thing 
that really sets this museum 
apart is that visitors are 
allowed, in fact encouraged, to 
handle the exhibits. 

The Mumingtang Ancient 
Porcelain Specimen Museum 
mm gir&ft in 

Chongwen District is the only 
museum in Beijing with a 
collection consisting solely of 
broken porcelain. 

Although it may seem 
strange to the uninitiated, 
collecting pieces of ancient 
porcelain is an increasingly 
popular pastime, for the 
simple reason that it is 

Few would be collectors 
have pockets deep enough to 
contemplate the purchase of 
an intact Tang Dynasty vase 
or bowl, but a fragment of 
such a piece is a different 
story. “Porcelain fragments 
are real historic relics and 
have a high collection value,” 
says Bai Ming, founder and 
curator of the museum. 
Having collected porcelain 
fragments for many years, 

Bai opened the private 
museum in 2002 to encourage 
more people to touch history. 

Mumingtang Museum, one 
of eight privately owned 
museums in Beijing, was 
originally a teahouse, and 
there are still tables and 
chairs arranged along one 
side, where visitors can take 
a break from cultural studies. 
“That is the tea-house part,” 
says Bai Ming. 

The museum boasts a 
collection of almost 50,000 
pieces of porcelain, 1,200 
of which are labeled and 
displayed in chronological 
order (some feature labels 
and descriptions in English). 
The earliest pieces date back 
to the Han Dynasty (206 
BC - 220 AD), and there 
are samples from every major 
period between then and the 
Republic of China. 

Due to space constraints, 
other pieces are on rotating 
display. Some are classified 
according to the kiln in 
which they were fired. 
Ruyao, Dingyao, Guanyao, 
Geyao and Junyao were 
the five royal kilns of the 
Song Dynasty. During the 
Tang Dynasty, Changsha 
Kiln was pre-eminent. 

While visitors to museums 
generally have to content 
themselves with admiring the 
objects of their affection from 
the other side of a glass 
cabinet, at Mumingtang 
Museum there is a special 
section where visitors can 
freely handle numerous 
ancient pieces, judging for 
themselves the quality of the 

Where: 1 Donghuashi 
Beitiao ( ^b^), 
Chongwen District 

Admission: 10 yuan 
Tel: 6718 6939 

Blue and white Guanyao kiln 
porcelain fragments 

Photos by Li Shuzhuan 

By Huang Lisha/Zhang Qingning 

A distant-view of the haystack-like 
Maiji Mountain 

L ast week, Plan introduced 
a part of Gansu Province 
known as Little Tibet. To- 
day we continue our look at this 
desert and mountain province 
with a visit to Tianshui (^zKJ . 

Stepping out of the railway 
station at Tianshui, a visitor 
might think for a moment that 
their train has somehow depos- 
ited them in lush southern Chi- 
na. The scenery, and even the 
climate, has much in common 
with that of the lower Yangtze 
River basin. 

It is no wonder Tianshui is 
known as “longshang xiaojiang- 
nan,” meaning “the southern Chi- 
na of Gansu.” Tianshui is like an 
open air museum, complete with 
ancient grottos, and historic ar- 
chitecture, relics, and tombs. 

Maijishan Grottos 

Maiji Mountain (Jbf*J0 is 45 
kilometers from Tianshui. The 
grottos there housing Buddhist 
frescoes and sculptures are one 
of China’s four famous grottos, 
the others being Mogao Grottos 
at Dunhuang, Yungang Grottos 
in Shanxi Province, and Luoyang 
Longmen Grottos in Henan. 

From a distance, the moun- 
tain has the appearance of a hay- 
stack, which is what the name 
means in Chinese. 

The grottos, carved out of the 
side of an 80-meter cliff, were 
begun in 384 AD, during the 
Qin Dynasty. Since then, they 
have been restored and enlarged 
on several occasions over the 
course of ten dynasties. Today, 
there are 194 caves, containing 
over 7,200 clay statues, and 
1,300 square meters of murals. 
The caves are accessed by way 
of plank walkways. 

The most famous attractions 

at Maijishan Grottos are the clay 
statues. As at Dunhuang’s Mogao 
Grottos, the local stone is soft 
and unsuitable for carving, so the 
ancient artisans focused on clay 
figurines and murals. There are 
a number of stone sculptures to 
be seen, which were brought in 
from other parts of China. 

Partially exposed to the ele- 
ments over the centuries, there 
is little remaining of the origi- 
nal coloring that once decorated 
the statues. But the exquisite 
skills of the unknown artists re- 
main clearly evident. Wrinkles 
in the sculptured clothing, deli- 
cate muscle definition, even the 
outline of veins, give the clay fig- 
ures a vivid sense of life. 

Maijishan Grottos also serves 
as a record of the various influ- 

No. 5 cave 

ences prevalent during different 
historical periods. The earliest 
Buddha statues display distinct- 
ly Tibetan or Indian features, 
both in physical appearance and 
style of dress, while those made 
after the Northern Wei Period 
(386-534) are all in the style of 
Han Chinese. 

Unlike the otherworldly and 
sacrosanct style of many Chinese 
Buddha statues, the Maijishan 
Buddhas display a benign coun- 
tenance, with their heads slight- 
ly lowered. 

Many of the Buddha statues 
are said to be modeled after 
women of the imperial court, sit- 
ting gracefully with their long 
skirts spread over the lotus- 
shaped platform. 

One in particular, with cres- 
cent moon shaped brows, long 
narrow eyes and full lips is be- 
lieved to be a likeness of a wife of 
one of the Northern Wei emper- 
ors. The boy and the girl statues 
in No. 123 cave are vivid and life- 
like portrayals of children living 
in northwest China. 

Three Kingdoms Culture 

Of strategic importance at 
various times throughout Chi- 

na’s long history, Tianshui has 
been the backdrop to many im- 
portant events, and is inextrica- 
bly woven into the history of the 
Three Kingdoms period. 

Seventy five kilometers west 
of Tianshui is Qishanbao (# 
^) , site of the headquarters of 
the famous commander Zhuge 
Liang when he commanded the 
army of Shu Kingdom to attack 
Wei around 228. 

The fortress both Wei and Shu 
were desperate to control was Ji- 
eting (ft'?), first occupied by the 
Shu Kingdom, and then falling 
under the control of Wei as a re- 
sult of one the negligence of Shu 
general Ma Su. 

In order to recapture Qishan, 
Zhuge Liang massed his troops 
successively six times, but each 
attempt ended in failure. To 
commemorate this distinguished 
statesman and militarist, local 
people constructed the Zhuge 
Wuhou Shrine in 

Qishanbao during the Northern 
and Southern Dynasties period. 

The shrine is composed of over 
20 halls, in which stand statues 
of Zhuge Liang and Guan Yu, 
a general of the Shu Kingdom. 
Today, Luangu Dui (bone heap), 
Da Ying (great headquarters), 
and some other relics of the an- 
cient battle zone can still be seen 
around Jieting. 

Fuxi Temple 

Fuxi Temple 

Fuxi is a mythical Chinese 
ruler, the first of the Three Au- 
gust Ones (the other two are 
Shennong and Suiren) credited 
with the invention of musical in- 
struments, Ba Gua (the Eight 
Diagrams), hunting, fishing, the 
domestication of animals, and es- 
tablishing the dragon as totem of 
the Chinese. 

According to legend, a great 
flood inundated the world, kill- 
ing all of humanity, except for 
Fuxi and his sister Niiwa. With 
the future of humankind at 
stake, the two siblings each 
carried a millstone up Kunlun 

Mountain and rolled them down, 
one from the south peak and one 
from the north. 

They agreed that if the two 
millstones collided, it would sig- 
nify that the gods wished them 
to marry and procreate. Fortu- 
nately for humankind, that is ex- 
actly what happened 

Visitors to Tianshui can see 
the two millstones preserved at 
Fuxi Temple GfcjkJti ) . It is said 
that touching them will promote 
family harmony and bring bless- 
ings to your marriage. 

Situated in the west part of 
Tianshui County, Fuxi Temple 
was first built in 1,347, during 
the Ming Dynasty, but since then 
has been subject to numerous 
renovations and enlargements. 

Originally there were 64 cy- 
press trees in the yard, symbol- 
izing the 64 lines of the Eight 
Diagrams, but now only 37 re- 
main. It is said that on Fuxi’s 
birthday, the 16th day of the 
first month of the lunar year, 
all the cypress trees will shake 
off their leaves in celebration. 
Praying at the foot of the tree 
with the fewest leaves will bring 
good luck. 

Held on the 13th day of the 
fifth lunar month, the Tianshui 
Fuxi Culture Festival has be- 
come an important annual event 
attracting tourists from within 
China and around world. 

Dadiwan Relics Site 

There is nothing immediate- 
ly unusual about Qin’an Coun- 
ty (J|-4r), 58 kilometers from 
Tianshui, however it is here, at 
the Dadiwan Relics Site (bJt 

XlLiiliL) that fossils and oth- 
er relics were unearthed in 1978, 
suggesting the area was inhab- 
ited by a Neolithic civilization 
5,000 to 8,000 years ago. 

Remains of wooden structures 
found in Dadiwan are considered 
to be the earliest examples of pal- 
ace-style architecture found in 

Tianshui countryside 

China. The structures, including 
a main hall, rear hall, and east 
and west halls, cover an area of 
420 square meters. The walls, 
hearths, and doors of the struc- 
ture feature a fireproof layer. 

Colored pottery unearthed at 
Dadiwan is among the earliest 
found in China. The predominant 
patterns decorating these are birds 
and fish. Marks resembling rip- 
ples in water and plants can also 
be seen, which some scholars have 
suggested represent the origin of 
Chinese calligraphy. 

A hot spring bath to unwind 

Jiezi Hot Springs 
can be found in a valley at Mai- 
ji Mountain, three kilometers 
from the town of Jiezi. There is 
an abundant flow of water from 
the two springs here, and the 
water can reach a temperature 
of 40 C. 

The spring water, which con- 
tains 19 trace elements, is reput- 
edly of high medical value. There 
are also hot mineral springs at 
Qingshui (yfrzlc) 87 kilometers 
east of Tianshui, and Wushan 
(^ih), 109 kilometers west of 
Tianshui, providing a perfect 
way to unwind after a long day 
of sightseeing. 

Getting there : Train T75 from 
Beijing West Railway Station to 
Tianshui costs abound 330 yuan 
(hardsleeper) and takes 18 hours. 
There are regular buses from 
Tianshui to all the above sites. 

Important reminders : The 

average temperature in Tianshui 
is 11 C, spring, summer and au- 
tumn are all ideal for traveling. 
Be sure to sample the local fruit, 
such as Tianshui Huaniu Apple, 
Qin Chang’an Pear and Tians- 
hui Juicy Peach, as well as deli- 
cious specialties like Zhangchuan 
Guokui GjUi|4i%Jb) , a kind of 
bread, and Qin’an Pork Belly 
Soup (JMvJl 

Photos by Liu Guoming