Paddling the Nile
The first ever paddle down the Blue Nile from source to sea. 5,000km through wild rapids, war zones, crocodile and hippo infested waters, disease, terrorists, guns, arrests; the works...
Newly married amongst the neon glow and dumpling vendors as we bumble our way trying to figure out the world's most populous nation at this exciting time in it's history...
The Great Canadian Bike Trek
23 years old and naive, I set off in the middle of Canada's barbaric winter perched on a woolskin seat-cover peddling solo from one side of Canada to the other...
February 1, 2015 | No Comments
Over the past couple of years, there has been a trend towards more heavy-handed censoring in China, particularly for content that strongly represents Western ideals and culture. Each year, as China’s population becomes more global, online, educated and well-travelled, its censors battle harder to keep China ‘pure’ and free from the evils of sex, drugs and civil rights that have polluted the West.
While China’s censoring of the Internet is well documented, rules require everything from mainstream advertising to TV soaps to get the big State tick before being aired in the Mainland. “The Empress of China” – its biggest-budget soap ever made following China’s only female emperor during the Tang Dynasty, was abruptly pulled after its release in late-December 2014. After a few days the show returned with cleavage shots strategically removed from the lead actress, Fan Bingbing. It happened at a similar time to announcements that the Shanghai Auto Show was likely to ban racy models.
January 17, 2015 | No Comments
June 2, 2014 | No Comments
China has been investing large sums into Africa to take advantage of the continent’s vast natural resources and build diplomacy. In 2012 alone, China dropped $27.7 billion between Cairo and Capetown and is showing no signs of slowing down. But even with China bringing all sorts of new infrastructure, mobile networks, sports stadiums and more productive farming to the continent, one country that isn’t looking too fondly on the Middle Kingdom is Egypt.
Egypt’s tourism industry, which accounts for 40% of the country’s non-commodity exports and is one its main employers, stands to benefit significantly from the rise of Chinese outbound tourism. With 200 million Chinese expected to travel abroad in 2017, once Egypt settles a little, big-spending Chinese tourists will come flooding in. So it is in Egypt’s best interests to keep China on side, but a couple of recent incidents by Chinese nationals will certainly be testing their patience.
February 16, 2014 | No Comments
On the long flight back from China to New Zealand recently, one of the films I watched was Elysium. The sci-fi thriller probably won’t make my top-10 list, but some of the content felt disturbingly close to home.
Although earth in Elysium was depicted as a polluted and overpopulated Los Angeles in 2154, it had elements of the way China is going right now, as the air and water pollution seem to be getting worse every year. The luxurious space habitat that the earthlings wanted to escape to, reminded me a little bit of New Zealand – although with slightly better looking inhabitants and a far superior health system.
A recent McKinsey poll in China, found air and water pollution to be Chinese consumers’ fastest growing concerns – 11% and 7% up on last year – and the forth and fifth biggest concerns overall. Interestingly, the concerns were confirmed by a recent report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, claiming that Beijing was almost uninhabitable for human beings due to the pollution. Whether or not these claims are ‘exaggerated‘, as reported by Chinese state media, the pollution appears to be getting even worse, not better, based on both official reports and my personal experiences, particularly in Shanghai.