School is just around the corner and Chinese are preparing for the Mid-Autumn Festival, but a lot of Beijingers are raising a fuss over a new ‘moon cake tax’. Hopefully, everyone can chill out in time for the festivals and other great events that are coming to the Chinese capital this September.
1) Increased airport security…terrorists to blame?
On the morning of August 27th, passengers at Beijing Capital Airport, as well as other airports across China, were greeted by increased security measures that caused numerous delays. Some Chinese bloggers noted that there might have been a possible Xinjiang terrorist threat and others have noted that the increased security might be because of the China-Asia-Europe Expo which will be held in Urumqi from September 1st to 5th. So if you are going to fly out of Beijing anytime soon be prepared to remove your shoes and belt and don’t be shocked if someone wants to rummage through your bag. There are no clear details when security screening measures will return to normal.
2) Moon Cake Tax
Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is supposed to be a happy time for Beijingers to take a little break and enjoy a little time with their families, but the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau has found a way to sour the occasion: a moon cake tax. According to the tax bureau, employees in Beijing that are gifted moon cakes by their employers will have to pay tax on the value of the traditional pastries.
Once the news was released thousands upon thousands jumped on Weibo to complain about the tax. One Beijing news paper even published an example of how the new tax could bump some workers into a higher tax bracket. Surprisingly, this is not the first time a moon cake tax has caused outrage in China.
3) Peking University professor loses job over extramarital affair
In China there is a long standing idea that teaching is a ‘holy profession’ but it looks like that is not the case for an unnamed Peking University professor, who has been removed from his teaching post after a woman who he was involved with blackmailed him by exposing their relationship to local media.
A statement released by the university said the professor had acted ‘unethically’ and had ‘seriously blemished’ the university’s reputation. According to a newspaper report, the married professor had an affair with a woman from Lijiang in Yunnan Province and promised to help her enter Peking University. When he did not follow through on his promise the woman demanded 300,000 RMB in compensation before eventually going public with their relationship.
4) Emitter wins the battle of the bands!
On August 28th, rock band Emitter won the Beijing battle of the bands along with a 50,000 RMB check and chance to represent the city on the national finals in September. On the 28th, hundreds packed into Tango to see the final which featured other local bands like Perdel, Army of Jade Kirin and Strange July. Good luck in the national finals Emitter and you better represent!
1) Intercity Music Festival
Although most of the summer music festivals are said and done, this September, Chaoyang Park is playing host to the Intercity Music Festival from September 11th-12th. It is primed to be a rather rocky affair with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club set to play on the night of the 11th following a performance from Gossip Girl actress-turned-punk-rocker Taylor Momson and her band Pretty Reckless. Chinese rock legend Cui Jian is set to bring the festival to a close on the 12th. It is a great way to celebrate Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival if you are mad about the whole moon cake tax thing. One day tickets are 100 RMB.
2) BC MOMA Open-Air Cinema
If you like movies and music then this years’ BC MOMA Open-Air Cinema Season is right down your alley. It started on August 31st and will run to September 11th at the BC MOMA. It will have performances from Chinese electronic bands Shanshui and FM3 as well as screenings of some classic German silent films. So head on out to the BC MOMA and enjoy the Beijing outdoors. Tickets are 100 RMB.
3) DJ Paul Van Dyk to hit up Beijing
World renowned and former world #1 DJ Matthias Paul, a.k.a. DJ Paul Van Dyk, is scheduled to light up Tango in Beijing on September 15th. With such great grooves it is a performance that you don’t want to miss. Act fast because tickets are going quick. Tickets are 200 RMB pre-sale or 300 RMB at the door.
Fans of Olaf Kristoffer Bauer’s Kro’s Nest pizza need to rejoice! The Kro’s Nest back in Sanlitun is once again under the control of its American owner. Not only does it have excellent service but it is a great place to fill up your stomach so you can last a bit longer on the Sanlitun bar circuit. In September, Kro’s Nest will offer a 28-inch challenge: if two people can eat a 28-inch pizza, a regular salad and a pitcher of beer in one hour without a bathroom break then they get the pizza for free.
Also if you like fine French food then head on over to Maison Boulud, as famed French Chef Daniel Boulud is making his yearly visit to the restaurant in early September. For more info check out Maison Boulud’s website at http://www.danielnyc.com/maisonboulud.html
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Keywords: Beijing watchdog music festivals Beijing moon cake tax Beijing DJ Paul Van Dyk Beijing
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