Promoting Brand China

Danwei Picks is a daily digest of the “From the Web” links found on the Danwei homepage. A feed for the links as they are posted throughout the day is available at Feedsky (in China) or Feedburner (outside China).


Flag aid for foreign countries (Sina)

Chinese flags go overseas: China Daily reports that national flags donated through online appeals are being sent – sometimes free of charge – to various cities along the torch relay:

"We received 13,000 national flags since last Friday, when the appeal was made online," Jiang Ziniu, Sohu’s media relations director, told China Daily Tuesday. Sohu has sent more than 3,500 flags to 24 cities in Australia, South Korea, the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Britain and France, he said.

An official at Beijing’s postal authority said the flags are being mailed free of charge – and through express service – to such destinations as Canberra, where the torch relay is tomorrow.

Beijing has become the guardian of the Chinese brand: Globe and Mail correspondent Doug Saunders reflects on his current status as the Chinese media’s foreign journalist who gets it:

It tells you something about the current dangerous state of events that millions of people inside China are willing to believe that there is a vast Western plot against them, and to congratulate me for "proving" this. But it tells you even more that hundreds of thousands of people living outside China are apparently willing to believe the same thing, despite having full access to free media — in fact, the social-networking sites of Web 2.0 have created a worldwide explosion of ethnic-Chinese nationalism.

Crazy English: the national scramble to learn a new language: Evan Osnos writes for the New Yorker about Li Yang‘s motivational English training program:

Li professes little love for the West. His populist image benefits from the fact that he didn’t learn his skills as a rich student overseas; this makes him a more plausible model for ordinary citizens. In his writings and his speeches, Li often invokes the West as a cautionary tale of a superpower gone awry. "America, England, Japan—they don’t want China to be big and powerful!" a passage on the Crazy English home page declares. "What they want most is for China’s youth to have long hair, wear bizarre clothes, drink soda, listen to Western music, have no fighting spirit, love pleasure and comfort! The more China’s youth degenerates, the happier they are!" Recently, he used a language lesson on his blog to describe American eating habits and highlighted a new vocabulary term: "morbid obesity."

via Pinyin News, which promises a critical study of Li Yang’s methods in the near future.

China faced with severe botnet problem: IDG News Service reports on recently-released data from China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT):

the estimate shows Chinese computers are disproportionately affected by the problem, accounting for 58 percent of all bot-controlled computers around the world. Moreover, the CNCERT numbers imply that 4.6 percent — nearly 1 in 20 — of the 78 million Chinese computers capable of accessing the Internet and in use at the end of 2007, based on a survey by the China Internet Network Information Center, were bot-controlled.

Everybody is forced to take a side: Author and professional auto racer Han Han has been blogging about the Carrefour boycott. China Digital Times translates some excerpts:

Why is our patriotism so fragile and superficial? When others called us a mob, we cursed them and appeared to be aggressive. And then we claimed, "We are not a mob." It’s like when somebody calls you an idiot, you hold up a big sign in front of his girlfriend’s dog, protesting that you are not stupid. Although this message would be received by that person, he would still believe that you are an idiot.

Don’t Mass in Sheshan: Adam Minter of Shanghai Scrap explains why certain highways have restricted access "From 5am-5pm on April 30 and May 1, 4, and 24":

That is to say: It will be next to impossible to reach the church after 5 AM unless you want to walk (like pilgrims of old, I suppose). April 30 is the traditional start to the pilgrimage; the May 1 mass is typically said by Shanghai’s bishop (this year, too) and is always the best-attended; May 4 is the first Sunday of May, so that probably accounts for restrictions on that day; and the May 24 mass should be well-attended since it is – arguably – the most important in the 400 year history of the Shanghai diocese….

That is to say, the authorities have rendered this year’s pilgrimage inaccessible to anyone who wakes after 4 AM. Brilliant.

Adam also presents a vibrating water table in honor of Earth Day.

Mandela envy: In this article on Slate, Christopher Hitchens looks at the history of Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and South Africa’s PAC, both of which enjoyed Chinese support while the ANC and Mugabe’s rival ZAPU led by Joshua Nkomo were supported by the Soviet Union.

He also ponders the possibility that Mugabe’s primary motivation may be Mandela envy.

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