Check out this month’s lowdown on what really happens behind closed doors in the PRC’s gargantuan capital: dark deeds, art auctions, shanzhai shui, and new openings, closures and re-openings.
1) Chinese Gays Profess Their Love Onstage in Capital
A video posted on the Chinese website Youku has created quite a stir amongst netizens after two Chinese gay lovers professed their love for each other on stage at Tango Starlight in Beijing. The incident occurred during a Chuanzi concert. Chuanzi is a Chinese singer, vaguely resembling a tramp, who shot to fame after appearing on China’s Got Talent with his guitar, scraggly beard and “singing” dog last season. One of the boys was identified as Ma Lishan, an androgynous Chinese internet celebrity who is famous for his overtly camp sense of fashion. The video has attracted comments of both support and hatred.
Qi Baishi’s Long Life, World Peace. Photo: Jing Daily
2) Painting by Qi Baishi Fetches Over $65 Million USD
A painting by one of China’s most celebrated artists, Qi Baishi, has been sold in the capital for 425.5 million RMB ($65.5 million USD). The painting, which was finished in 1946, depicts an eagle perching on a pine tree, and is accompanied by a Chinese couplet that reads, “Long Life, World Peace.” It is one of Qi Baishi’s biggest paintings, at 1m wide and 2.6 metres tall, and was sold at Chinese auction house China Guardian after about 30 minutes of intense bidding. The monumental sale marks a developing trend for Chinese art sales. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese auction and gallery art sales have quadrupled over the past 5 years.
3) Four Beijing Students on Trial for Brutal Murders
Four students from Beijing’s Renwen University have been put on trial at the No.1 People’s Court for murdering a young man after an alleged dispute in his restaurant. On April 27th the four youths, wielding recently-purchased axes, went to restaurant owner Zhang’s home and beat him to death. Soon after they went upstairs and slit the throat of his girlfriend. Police arrested the four suspects
between April 27th and May 1st.
4) Fake Water Scam Busted in Shijingshan Raid
Officials have located a ‘fake water’ production base in Yamenkou village, Shijingshan District on the outskirts of Beijing. It is reported that over 1,000 buckets of faked water products had been created and distributed by workers, using real brand names such as Wahaha, and being sold for 3 to 4 RMB per unit. Containers, stickers and labels representing real life brands had been bought from an unnamed source, then filled with untreated water. The crackdown was instigated in a combined effort from police, city administration and quality control officials. See more here.
5) Man Dies in Subway Collapse
A subway line construction worker has been killed after a sinkhole suddenly emerged above a section of Line 6 metro line near Ping’an Li station. At around 02:30 in the morning on June 1st, part of the road above the metro line collapsed, and the worker, surname He, fell in, buried by soil. He was quickly dug out by co-workers but died in the hospital later that night from respiratory failure. This is the second Line 6 collapse following a similar incident which occurred outside Shilipu station on May 18th. In addition, three sinkholes over the Daxing line also appeared recently.
6) Man Falls from 9th Floor to his Death
On Wednesday 1st June, a man of about 30 fell to his death from his ninth floor apartment window. It is reported that the unnamed Chinese man had just returned to his flat in Mudanyuan Beili in Haidian District, after spending time abroad. Police are now investigating the mysterious circumstances behind his death.
7) Kai Bar to be Re-housed
Another inner-city cull, this time it’s popular dive bar Kai Club getting the lethal injection. Kai, and other bars on the alleyway running west of the 3.3 Mall will all be torn down before summer; Kai fans can mop your tears with the knowledge that it will be re-housed on the third floor of Tongli Studio (just below Kokomo). It’s reported that other bars that line the alley (Shooters, Smuggler’s and Fish Nation) will also suffer the same fate. Also breathing its last breath is the rather short-lived club run by Mix and Acupuncture Records, The House. And it doesn’t look like the club has any plans to re-open elsewhere.
8) Chaoyang District Governor Detained for Bribery
A Chaoyang District Government Deputy Director has been dismissed from his post and detained under suspicion of involvement in a bribery scandal, according to a report made by Caijing magazine. Liu Xiquan, 55, was the officer for personnel, rural affairs, social security and animal health inspections, and had been involved with the Communist Party since 1978. Three other officials in the rural affairs office, who worked under Liu’s management, have also been dismissed.
9) Initial Feedback on Mandatory ID Train Ticket Purchases: Bu hao!
Slowly but surely, China is implementing a scheme meaning that train tickets can only be bought if you are carrying sufficient ID. The ID number will be recorded and printed on your ticket. The policy aims to curb the amount of touts who buy up popular route tickets and then sell them on to others for vast profits. But the scheme has had some adverse affects, one of which being the amount of hassle now needed to get your hands on a train ticket. Many foreigners have complained of having to travel all the way to the train station they wish to travel from rather than just buying from one of the “hole-in-the-wall” kiosks conveniently situated around the city. Others have complained that while some forms of ID have been accepted, others haven’t (such as drivers’ licenses, etc.). See more here.
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Keywords: Beijing watchdog June 2011 quirky news Beijing 2011 Beijing news round-up 2011
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