Archive: Postmark Beijing

Olympics Report Card: Success or Failure?

The Beijing Olympics the world saw on television was a runaway success. The athletes broke world records -- including three by just one man, Jamaica's Usain Bolt. The venues sparkled. Pollution was low and throughout most of the games there were brilliant "blue sky" days. China for the first time...

August 24, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (88)

Want to Find the Best Restaurants? Check Your Blood Pressure? Ask an Olympic Volunteer

One striking aspect of the Beijing Olympics is the ubiquitous smiling volunteer. Armed with facts and figures about 5,000 years of Chinese history, Olympic trivia, subway schedules, and first aid, they are stationed on practically every corner of Beijing. In some high-traffic areas you need only call out something...

August 24, 2008; 01:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Pro-Tibet Demonstrator Speaks about Detention in Beijing

://admin.brightcove.com&autoStart=false'base='http://admin.brightcove.com' id='fo510216' name='fo510216'width='454' height='305' allowFullScreen='false'allowScriptAccess='always'seamlesstabbing='false'type='application/x-shockwave-flash' swLiveConnect='true'pluginspage='http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash'> Kurt Langer, 34, is a member of the board of Students for a Free Tibet. While Langer did not actively participate in any of the group's protests in Beijing, he observed them and explained the goals of the demonstrations to the media. Other...

August 23, 2008; 01:00 AM ET | Comments (11)

Grandmothers Sentenced to Reeducation Labor Camp Say They Are Not Afraid

Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, were told they might have to go to reeducation labor camp because they were "disturbing the public order" for applying for a protest permit during the Olympics. The two women wanted to protest their eviction from their homes in 2001 because they...

August 22, 2008; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

Pro-Tibet Protesters Speak Out

Ginger Cassady and Alice Speller, members of Students for a Free Tibet, spoke at a press conference in Beijing Friday. The grassroots activist group has managed to pull off eight separate demonstrations since Aug. 6. Cassady, 30, from San Francisco, works for a forest conservation organization. Speller, 25, is...

August 22, 2008; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

U.S. Tourist Attacked Aug. 9 in Beijing Now in "Good" Condition

Barbara Bachman, whose husband Todd was stabbed and killed in Beijing during the Olympics, is back in the United States and has been upgraded to "good" condition by the Mayo Clinic where she is being treated. In a letter posted this week to a Web site dedicated to the family,...

August 22, 2008; 04:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Blogger Zhang Shihe On Dissent During the Olympics

Zhang Shihe, 53, a blogger, has advocated for the rights of migrant workers who helped construct the Bird's Nest National Stadium and other Olympic venues and of people who were driven out of their homes by construction for the games. His blog, 24-hour blog bus, is routinely censored by...

August 21, 2008; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Protestors from Hong Kong, U.S. Taken Away by Beijing Police

A group of disgruntled Hong Kong businessmen who went to protest outside Beijing's Zhongnanhai compound where China's leaders live were taken away by police. One of the men, Wang Wenjin, previously told The Washington Post that he and the others had been cheated out of their investment in a Shanghai...

August 21, 2008; 07:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Village Sacrifices Water for Olympics

Cheng Yu, 22, a teacher from Hebei Province, talks about how her village used to be one of the only lush parts of China's arid northeast, which in terms of per capita water resources is as dry as the Middle East. But a diversion project that sends the water...

August 20, 2008; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

Two Women, Ages 79 and 77, Sentenced to Re-education Labor After Applying for Protest Permit

Two Beijing residents were sentenced to a year of labor re- education after they applied for permits to demonstrate against their 2001 eviction from their homes, according to New York-based Human Rights in China. Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, went to Chinese police five times between Aug. 5...

August 20, 2008; 01:18 AM ET | Comments (18)

Five American Pro-Tibet Activists Detained

Five American activists who unfurled a banner spelling out "Free Tibet" on Tuesday near the National Stadium in Beijing have been detained. The five protesters were taken away by security before midnight, according to Students for a Free Tibet. The organization identified the detained activists as Amy Johnson, 33, Sam...

August 20, 2008; 12:42 AM ET | Comments (2)

Who's No. 1? Depends On How You Count Medals

Every day since the games began, the Olympics medal chart has dominated the front page of China's main state-run newspapers. China is always ranked first. On Wednesday, the chart showed that China has 43 gold medals as compared to the 26 that went to the United States, 16 to...

August 19, 2008; 11:55 PM ET | Comments (253)

Activists: Tibet Lockdown Worsens During Games

In a briefing issued Monday, an activist group detailed alleged abuses by Chinese authorities in Tibet that have occurred since the start of the Olympic Games. The Free Tibet Campaign describes a heavy military presence, barriers to travel, surveillance and restrictions on telephone and email communications in Tibet that it...

August 18, 2008; 09:41 AM ET | Comments (4)

China's Newest Export: Medal Winners

China took the gold medal in women's team table tennis on Sunday and in second and third place were two teams buoyed by former Chinese nationals who left the mainland in search of better playing opportunities. Singapore, whose team had three players that used to play for China, took silver...

August 17, 2008; 08:11 PM ET | Comments (1)

Chinese Officials Confiscate Bibles from American Christians

The Associated Press is reporting that Chinese customs officials have taken 300 Bibles from four Americans who had intended to distribute them. Pat Klein, head of Vision Beyond Borders, said the Bibles were taken from the group's checked luggage after they landed in the city Kunming in the southern province...

August 17, 2008; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (3)

Taiwan and China Bond Over Baseball, Pandas

The warming relations between Taiwan and the mainland were evident Friday as the two sides met for an Olympics baseball match in the Chinese capital. In an a spectacularly suspenseful game during which the "Go Taiwan!" cheers were as loud as those for "Go China!," the teams remained tied at...

August 15, 2008; 07:15 AM ET | Comments (1)

Another Free Tibet Protest

Activists managed to display a "Free Tibet" banner for an hour at the new headquarters of China Central Television on Friday before they were taken away. Students for a Free Tibet said five Americans were detained in the latest protest by the group, which has managed to get around the...

August 14, 2008; 10:23 PM ET | Comments (5)

Shopping on Silk Street with Bush Sr. And Other VIPs

Beijing's Silk Street Market is one of the capital's most beloved tourist destinations, but it's not for its silk. It's for the knock-offs--the LV purses, Dolce & Gabbana dresses, Tommy Bahama shirts, Ugg boots. A few weeks before the Olympics began, Chinese police swept through the streets and said...

August 14, 2008; 09:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

IOC To China: Don't Hinder Journalists

The International Olympic Committee criticized Chinese security officials who detained and manhandled a British journalist as he was covering a pro-Tibet protest on Wednesday. "The IOC does disapprove of any attempts to hinder a journalist who is going about doing his job seemingly within the rules and regulations," IOC spokeswoman...

August 14, 2008; 08:19 AM ET | Comments (14)

New Security Checks at Tourist Spots

Chinese officials announced that they would strengthen security checks at popular tourist destinations in the wake of Saturday's attack on the in-laws of the U.S. Olympic men's volleyball coach. Guards will use handheld metal detectors to suspicious check people and their baggage, said Wang Zhifa, a deputy director of the...

August 13, 2008; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Beijing Police Detain, Rough Up Journalist

As Beijing police were scrambling this afternoon to whisk away the latest group of Free Tibet protesters near the Olympic Park, they also detained and roughed up a British journalist attempting to cover the demonstration. "I was shouting, 'I'm a British journalist," said John Ray, a correspondent for Britain's Independent...

August 13, 2008; 08:30 AM ET | Comments (5)

Opening Ceremony Dancer Possibly Paralyzed and Other Scoops by Chinese Media

Beijing officials are going to great lengths to detain, search and intimidate foreign journalists reporting on the Olympics. But it's Chinese media outlets that are breaking the most damaging stories. One day after Beijing Radio revealed that the angelic girl who performed "Ode to the Motherland" during the Opening Ceremony...

August 13, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

After Friend Disappears, Ji Sizun Confronts Police and is Detained Himself (Updated)

When the Chinese government announced at the end of July that it would set up special zones where people could demonstrate during the Beijing Olympics, it seemed almost too good to be true. For months, the country had been under fire from critics who accused it of trying to...

August 12, 2008; 09:00 PM ET | Comments (3)

Actor Jonathan Kos-Read On Foreigners in Chinese Soap Operas

Jonathan Kos-Read, 35, is an American soap opera actor and heartthrob in China. He speaks with us about China's evolving relationship with foreigners and the changing portrayals of foreigners in Chinese TV and films. --Ariana Eunjung Cha...

August 12, 2008; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Opening Ceremony Lip Sync Controversy

The adorable, pig-tailed girl who sang "Ode to the Motherland" during Friday's Opening Ceremony for the Olympics was lip syncing. The real singer's face was apparently deemed "not suitable" by officials organizing the games. In an interview with Beijing Radio, Chen Qigang, musical director for the ceremony, said a member...

August 12, 2008; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (15)

Chinese 'Cheer Squads' Fill Empty Seats

Chinese officials said today that they are busing in spectators to fill up venues that have remained partially empty during sporting events. "If they find that there are not enough people, or if they find that there are too many empty seats, they organise some cheerleaders," said Wang Wei, the...

August 12, 2008; 04:02 AM ET | Comments (3)

Christian Activist Escapes Police Detention (Updated)

A Christian activist reported missing after he was confronted by security officials while en route to a church service attended by President Bush has escaped police detention, his brother said Monday. Hua Huilin said his brother Hua Huiqi hoped to be able to tell President Bush the people praying with...

August 11, 2008; 05:24 AM ET | Comments (5)

China Daily: Attacker Who Killed U.S. Tourist Was Former Factory Worker

Here's the link to an article in the China Daily, the state-run, English-language newspaper, that provides more details about the man who killed one American tourist and seriously injured another in Beijing on Saturday. Some excerpts... The attacker was identified as 47-year-old Tang Yongming from the eastern city of Hangzhou,...

August 10, 2008; 04:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eight Killed in Attack by 'Suicide Bombers' in Western China (Updated)

Chinese police shot and killed five suspects during a pre-dawn clash Sunday with attackers who hurled homemade bombs at government buildings in the country's Xinjiang region, according to state media. Two police officers and a security guard were wounded during the attacks on a local police station and office of...

August 9, 2008; 10:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

American Tourist Killed in Beijing (Updated)

One American tourist was killed and one more was injured while sightseeing at Beijing's Drum Tower at mid-day today, China's official news service Xinhua reported. Chinese authorities have identified the attacker as Tang Yongming, 47, from Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province. Xinhua reports that the attacker committed suicide by...

August 9, 2008; 06:55 AM ET | Comments (5)

State Media: World Leaders Praise China

President Bush dedicated the new $434 million U.S. Embassy in Beijing today and said it is a symbol of the deepening ties between the two countries, but there was little news about this in the Chinese media. Bush has become a virtual persona non grata in China over the past...

August 8, 2008; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (11)

Tiananmen Closed on Opening Day

HOTSPOT Tiananmen Square, the symbolic center of China, was closed this morning, the opening day of the Olympics. But the closure didn't deter thousands of mostly Chinese tourists from thronging the sidewalks across the streets from the square. Sporting Chinese flag decals on their cheeks and foreheads, they jostled with...

August 8, 2008; 06:50 AM ET | Comments (1)

White House Press Corps 'Welcome' in Beijing

When I arrived in Beijing with other members of the White House press corps following President Bush to the Olympics on a chartered aircraft, we received an interesting introduction to the bureaucratic ways of China. Check out my latest entry to our On The Plane blog, about traveling with the...

August 8, 2008; 04:20 AM ET | Comments (11)

China Bloggers to U.S. Cyclists: Go Home

In the months leading up to the Olympics, China's bloggers launched ugly online attacks against the Western media for what they said were biased reports about Tibet, and lambasted France, French companies and the French people for the melee over the Paris leg of the torch relay. Now they have...

August 7, 2008; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (106)

Tiananmen Square Today

HOTSPOT On special occasions like national holidays, so many Chinese tourists crowd into Tiananmen Square that it can take hours to push and shove your way from one end to another. The eve of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is apparently not one of those days....

August 7, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

U.S. Christian Protesters Detained, Pro-Tibet Activists Deported

Three American Christian activists calling for greater religious freedom in China were kneeling to conduct a prayer vigil in Tiananmen Square earlier today when plainclothes security guards dragged them off their knees and took them away. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, was able to speak to a...

August 7, 2008; 05:47 AM ET | Comments (28)

Chinese Press: It's Fog, not Smog

The Chinese government's vast media operations have been in overdrive in recent weeks in anticipation of Friday's Opening Ceremony. While the foreign media has raised questions about what the skyrocketing air pollution index means for athletes' health and the competition, the Chinese media is quoting experts that say there is...

August 6, 2008; 07:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

A 'Civilized' Beijing

On practically every street corner of China's capital, colorful splashes of banners and flyers urge local residents to do his or her part to ensure a 文明 Beijing for the Olympics. Literally meaning civilized, the word--spelled wenming in Roman letters and pronounced WHEN-ming--has a much deeper meaning in the Chinese...

August 6, 2008; 05:37 PM ET | Comments (5)

 
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