Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Military’

China’s Police Force: The Most Approachable in the World?

The international press hasn’t been shy reporting the dramas in the build up to this week’s change of leadership in China.  There’s been the blocking of Google and other annoying Internet disruptions,  the 1.4 million-strong volunteer security force keeping peace in Beijing, and the unrelated, somewhat sensationalised reports of thousands clashing with the police in China.  But there seems little coverage of the positive change taking place right now in China’s police force.

 

A Chinese policeman on a bike

The new face of China’s Police force

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The Chinese Rugby Strategy

Congrats to the mighty All Blacks on their final, hard-fought victory at the Rugby World Cup – a Monstrous effort.  Let it be an inspiration to budding Chinese rugby players.

 

But let’s take it one step at a time.  At this stage, it’s better to look at the grit of the 2nd Tier nations and their upsets as the true exemplars for aspiring rugby nations like China. Ireland beating Australia and the even more beautiful trouncing of the French by Tonga should show countries like China that with the right spirit, even the underdogs are in with a chance.   Yet even with the right spirit, rugby has a way to go in China.

 

Chinese rugby players holding the Rugby World Cup

Could Chinese rugby players be holding the Rugby World Cup some day?

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Rugby in China: The Chinese team will be playing in the 2019 Rugby World Cup

In less than 20 days, New Zealand will be overrun with striped jerseys and empty beer vessels as the rugby world converges for the third largest sporting event on the planet, the Rugby World Cup

 

20 nations will be competing for rugby supremacy in the Nile River of rugby tournaments.  Yet in China, the world’s most populous nation, the dedicated following of the rugby will be limited to a few smoky expat bars and a handful of committed Chinese rugby heads (most of whom will be supporting the All Blacks)

 

Chinese rugby fans of the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup. Click here if you’re in China where You Tube Videos are blocked 中国橄榄球的人

 

Rugby: Banned by the Chinese Government

Rugby was once like a Class A drug in China, the bad boy of sports that was banned by the PRC National Sports Council who deemed “the meeting of sullied bodies in physical contact cannot be approved”.

 

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The Modern Great Wall Of China

The Great Wall of China rightfully earns a place on every Top-20 must-see lists of world sites. Its scale is simply jaw-dropping, straddling jagged mountain ridges and deserts 6,259.6 kilometres (3889.5 miles) across China. What strikes me is the stark contrast of its humble design versus flashy modern Chinese bling architecture.

 

The simplicity of the Great Wall, like much of China’s ancient and medieveal architecture, is representative of the endearing humbleness of Chinese culture.  Similar periods of architecture from other parts of world are much more ornate and grandiose.  But as China rediscovers itself, it’s creating the most showy, shiny and shameless buildings on the planet.  Some are simply beautiful examples of how far engineering has come such as the Bird’s Nest Stadium, Opera House and modern-day cryptic Arche de Triomphe CCTV buildings in Beijing, the Shanghai Financial Centre and under-construction Shanghai Tower, but there are also many shiny, pillared, faux gold monstrosities and countless constructions straight from a Jetsons cartoon.  It makes for interesting cityscapes.

 

The fascinating metamorphosis of Chinese architecture had me wondering just how the Great Wall of China might look if it was constructed in 2011.

 

How the Great Wall of China could look if it was built today

How the Great Wall of China could look today if it had been constructed in 2011 incorporating modern Chinese architecture

 

The first sections of China’s Great Wall date back to the fifth century BC, with various dynasties adding to and maintaining it until the 16th century.  Over that time, tens of millons of workers moved 240 million cubic metres (8.5 billion cubic feet) of compacted rocks and soil, then bricks and stone slabs, mostly by the Chinese-invented wheel barrow.  Much of The Wall was held together by mortar made from rice flour, and some say, the bones of some of the million workers estimated to have died building it.

 

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My wife Ellen and I are currently living in China, bumbling our way around this fascinating and fast-changing country. We kicked off our stay with a semester of Intensive Mandarin studies at Beijing Language and Culture University and are now living in Shanghai. These posts cover some of my experiences, views and curious facts in and around the Middle Kingdom. Please let me know what you think!


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