China’s Annual New Year Migration

December 31, 2012

We visited China and traveled during one of China’s national holidays in 2008.

My sister and her youngest daughter went with us—both are evangelical Christians and mentioned they didn’t believe in China’s one-child policy. I heard this more than once but after they arrived in China and experienced that migration, both stopped preaching about the one-child policy.

It was so crowded, it was as if we were swimming through an ocean of people.

That’s when I decided that my next trip to China will not be during any of China’s national holidays.

In fact, to deal with this migration, inhabitat.com says, “China has released a massive rail development program, which will expand the high-speed rail service to 42 more high-speed lines by 2012.”

This Al Jazeera report is about China’s annual New Year Migration of 2010. For readers who haven’t been to China, this may be your only chance to experience a taste of what it is like to live in a country with more than 1.3 billion people.

Tony Birtley of Al Jazeera, reports from a train heading south from Beijing to Hebei province.

Birtley says, “Welcome to the Chinese New Year and to the world’s biggest annual migration.… There’s something like 2,000 people on this train and you can hardly move.”

The rail system in China barely manages to move the average 220 million people traveling home to celebrate the Chinese New Year with family. But the Chinese lunar New Year is on Sunday, February 10, 2013.  That’s when you want to avoid visiting China unless you want to experience this holiday with the  Chinese. If so, pick a city and avoid traveling.

It is possible that a passenger will have to stand for a trip of 16 to 48 hours to reach their destination.

Discover Harbin’s Winter Wonderland

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China


Beyond Latchkey Kids

August 6, 2012

In rural China, more than 100 million migrants have left their homes to find work in the cities. By 2025, it is predicted that another 243 million will migrate. The benefit for these rural to urban migrants is increased income, access to education and a higher standard of living.

However, not all have the money to take their children with them. Some children stay behind — alone.

“Researchers estimate that at least 58 million — nearly a quarter of the nation’s children and almost a third of its rural children — are growing up without one or both of their parents, who have migrated in search of work. More than half of those were left by both parents.” Source: Rural Life in China

In the US, we call such children Latchkey Kids. In fact, Jareb Collins at Associated Content says as many as 77 percent of American youth are Latchkey Kids. If accurate, that adds up to more than 57 million American children.

In addition, in 2009, there were about 18.1 million children in the United States living in single-mother families. Source: prb.org

In the video, Xie Xiang Ling is one of those children in China that lives alone. She is twelve and tells her story to Al Jazeera.

Ling says she lives alone in rural Anhui Province.

Her parents work in the city and she takes care of herself. Sometimes her parents come home on the weekend and sometimes are gone for months.

Ling said there are too many people in the city where her parents sell fruit, tea and nuts.

When Ling visited her parents in the city, she had trouble sleeping nights because the city is so loud and there are so many cars.

Back home, Ling does her own cooking and eats fruit.

At times, she helps on her aunt’s farm and pulls the vegetables from the ground.

In school, she loves language class and math but does not like the English class since the teacher always screams at the students.

Ling wants to go to college and earn good money but her family cannot afford to send her to college.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

Note: This revised and edited post first appeared December 30, 2010


Punishing Food Fraud in China – Part 1/2

August 14, 2011

This is how capitalism works. Wall Street Journal.com reports, “Ink, dye, bleach and toxic chemicals … have been found recently in food products in China, reigniting fears over food safety despite repeated government pledges to crack down on tainted eats.”

Sounds bad, but do not judge the Chinese before reading this entire two part series to find out that China is not alone in the struggle to make food safer to eat.

It isn’t as if China’s government is not trying to improve food safety. Al-Jazeera’s Melissa Chang reports from Beijing about China’s government vowing to improve food safety laws. In fact, according to Melissa Chang, more than 2,000 people across the country have been arrested for failing to meet food safety standards.

The Wall Street Journal says, “One of the biggest issues is the drive to make a buck at any cost, says Lester Ross, a Beijing-based attorney with U.S. law firm WilmerHale. Some companies see that by using additives, they can cut overhead costs or boost profit margins, and they merely aren’t thinking about the affects the additives will have on consumers, Mr. Ross says.”

Melissa Chang demonstrates how a chemical sauce to turn meats such as pork into beef can change any meat that isn’t beef into beef so the enterprising capitalist can charge more and increase profits.

Since living in China means awareness of such trickery, “Many Chinese,” Chang says, “pay a premium to know exactly where the food they eat comes from.”

Chang then talks about an organic food cooperative in the suburbs of Beijing, which was established by families to buy directly from organic farmers and the project has proven to be very successful.

However, Chang says, “Even the best intentions (may) go awry.” Organic in China doesn’t mean the food would qualify as organic outside China since so much of the air and water is polluted there.  It is a challenge to grow quality produce.

“Achieving better standards will take years,” Chang says.

However, what about food safety in the U.S.?

Continued on August 15, 2011 in Punishing Food Fraud in China – Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


India-China Border Dispute in 2009 – Part 4/4

October 12, 2010

Since the 1962 war, China and India have continued to argue about the disputed area that was created by British Explorer McMahon in the 19th century.

Parts of the frontier are still in dispute, including a portion of Kashmir and the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The area in dispute now is Ladakh. For centuries, Ladakh was an independent kingdom but is now part of India. There are obvious cultural links with China.

In this area, no one knows where India ends and China begins.  China and India still share the biggest stretch of disputed border in the world divided by Nepal and Bhutan from Arunachal Pradesh in the south to Kashmir in the north.


Al Jazerra English – Renewed Tension Over India-China Border

P. Chidambaram, India’s Interior Minister says that it is a disputed border area.  He says that violations have taken place and are resolved by talking to each other (China with India).

India says the border violations were probably a mistake, but China says they never happened.

Diplomatic letters that Al Jazeera managed to get hold of show that both India and China are not telling the truth.  Indian nomads wondered into Chinese occupied territory and were warned to leave or face the consequences.

The diplomatic letters also show that China does not accept that the area is disputed.  Instead, China says it is their territory.

The Indian army had a heavy military presence on India’s side of the border. The Al Jazeera reporters could not visit the Chinese side.

Return to Part 3 of China and India at War in 1962 or start with Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

To subscribe to “iLook China”, there is a “Subscribe” window at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


China questions the dollar’s value – Part 1/2

October 7, 2010

I find Al Jazeera English, the 24-hour, Arabic-language satellite television news network, an interesting place to find an objective view of China.

The history of Al Jazeera is also interesting.

This Al Jazeera “Inside Story” from 2009 is about China questioning the value of the American dollar.

In fact, the Chinese prime minister blamed the U.S. financial system for the 2008 global recession and said a new world currency was needed to replace the dollar.

The Al Jazeera commentator questioned if China was just playing politics challenging U.S. dominance of the global financial system.

China suggested that it would be better if the dollar was replaced with the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) Special Drawing Rights called SDRs.

The value of the SDRs would be based on a basket of currencies. China said that basing economic reserves on a group of currencies would prevent a financial crash like the 2008 economic meltdown from happening again.

Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People’s Bank of China said, “The outbreak of the crises and its spillover to the entire world reflects the inherent vulnerabilities and risks in the existing system…”

There is a clip of President Obama speaking in defense of the U.S. dollar.

Al Jazeera’s “Inside Story” had a panel of guest experts from around the globe.  There was Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute in the U.S., Andrew Leung, an economist and a China specialist in London, and a Paris based financial analyst, Max Keiser, who writes for the Huffington Post.

Read about China’s economy

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,256 other followers