06.19.14 (8:19 pm)   [edit]
It's time to turn our attentions, once again towards mainland China. With all it's achievements as well as failures, it's really an incredible country to be in right now. Well, in fact it is having a very large scale impact, so even if you don't live there you will still be hugely effected by it. However, I would like to talk from the perspective of living there, which is a pretty amazing experience not only for the expats but even for the Chinese themselves.

While sometimes we see huge leaps of development, sometimes we see huge decline. It is approximately three weeks that Google has been blocked by the great firewall of China. Which means, that academics, students as well as some of the million of other internet users there are unable to access important documents. Every single Google service is blocked in China at the moment, while everyone waits for the ban to be lifted.

Our good friends in Shanghai have reported that the VPN circumvention is working rather well in these days. At least compared to previous sanctions that took place last yer during the big meeting in Beijing. It kind of proves the point on how you cannot close one tap without opening another. But as Show Shanghai has stated, the attempts at the moment are some of the most drastic that have been seen in the history of the Great Firewall of China.

These measures have also been referred as the "century of humiliation", that the government will look back and regret that they have ever done this which ultimately prevents China from growth and competence. So for example, if a researcher in China wants to access Google documents in order to develop nature friendly technology. He will not be able to.

As absurd as this seems, the ban is not expected to be lifted anytime soon. However, there no doubt that it will be lifted in the future. The government transparency has been proved false yet again. Thus any promises of cleaning up the air in Shanghai or Beijing for example is nothing that can be believed in.

If the Beijing government were to publicly state the reasons and causes that lead to the block of all Google services in China, it would be fine. However, this is yet another technique to keep people in the dark, unfortunately so.

05.01.14 (6:25 pm)   [edit]
I wanted to take this opportunity and tell a bit about my background and not just blog anonymously. My name is Darren Heng, and I am interested in Asia as well as everything that has got to do with nature, or our planet and the people who live within it. Now that's a pretty broad description, but I cant help it. I've found the many so called "environmentalists" or just about anyone concerned with global warming has a way of dividing things between "good" and the "bad". I however think that for us to actually solve some issues in this world, we should broaden our thinking and think of everything as a whole. The decision is simply a trap in my opinion.. so that you can feel good about something. Being on the right side. But until everyone is on the "right side", which is not something fixed or something you can define.. you can only let it flow. So until then, there is no resolution to the nature problems we face today. That and the combination of me living in several Asian countries has led me to look at the issue from this angle. On this blog. Hope you enjoy it, sorry I didn't introduce myself earlier. I'll be sure to tell you more later on! Some personal background as well! Sincerely, Darren Heng

04.16.14 (5:20 am)   [edit]
When I think about the nature of people in Asian countries.. I think of Peking Opera. Loud, colorful, speaking strange languages, musical, dancing and knows Kung Fu! Of course these are some pretty odd stereo types, but when I went to see some theater in Beijing, I realized that this view is not TOO FAR from the truth.

This "theater personality" as I like to call it, is what I love about a lot of Asian countries. Especially China. It creates a lot of problems, while it solves many of them at the same time. I would say that the problem solving part is head on, full steam!

This deep personality has created a strong industry of money makers, a lot of them who like to recycle. Fighting for the last can or plastic bottle can be quite a scene in Beijing for example. Such a scene is not too far from one in Peking Opera :P

While a lot of people see money as something that destroys our nature, and even culture and the roots of a country. In China people truly know how to put things the other way.. the profit way. And that includes ecological values as well. Recycling is simply profitable!

03.24.14 (8:31 am)   [edit]
I always found recycling in Japan a very interesting issue.. it's quite unique, sometimes it causes problems, sometimes it's simply brilliant. Sometimes it's efficient and some times it just doesn't work out. Although these problems are common with recycling all over the world.. You cannot recycle plastic bags, you need to buy the bags that you put the trash in.. and those bags have the recycling fee included in them. You also have to write your name on them to not cause confusing emotions in case there is a problem. A lot of things are recycled, with different days.. from few times a week to once a month depending on the article. Majority of the trash is to be burned, however I've heard that it's so expensive to burn the trash that not all of it ends up as it's intended to. The biggest problem that I have personally encountered, is the inability to collect trash outside of ones home premises. If I pick up a trash from the forest, supposedly I should carry it back home with me.. even if I'm far away. Leaving it next to the trash collecting point will leave as the responsibility of someone else.. it's a difficult situation.

01.15.14 (1:52 pm)   [edit]
For many, traveling in Asia is work related. Theres lots of explotation of resources going on as well as good things.. novel things. Business as usual they say. However trips do wear out and one needs to kick back and relax from time to time.

In such a chaotic and dirty country as China there is plenty of beautiful nature to go around as well. But going out the woods is not the option for most people and one has to stay in the cities. But without a doubt there is not a lack of things to do, such as the Beijing Kung Fu Show which is a highly entertaining performance.

In fact, seeing the show in Beijing got me thinking about the connection of history and nature. How an ancient art such as Kung Fu is connected with the planet a method to find purpose in the meaning of living in the planet. This beautiful story was a classic. The struggle to become something with purpose is a path that connects us all. However a lot of us have forgotten it and do many things without purpose.

This makes us wasteful and inconsiderete not only towards the planet but to the fellow being as well. It can be anything from kung fu to meditation to gardening. As long as there is the spirit of meaning one can fully enjoy life. All this is good to remember especially on those business trips that have such an influence in the world today.

10.26.13 (10:47 pm)   [edit]
For the good and the bad, radiation concern has been a raising issue for these few years now. Awareness however has not increased significantly enough to actually make an impact on nuclear policy. The Japanese government remains to keep a strong hold of the countries energy policies.

Any object against the system is considered an instruction to the peace of the nation. Despite this it has become increasingly difficult for the Japanese government to deny the accusations. To keep it's strong stance, the government has started to admit certain faults in order to not loose their face over the matter.

However is is ridiculous to think that the people in power would be willing to risk their status by admitting the truth behind the issues.

Energy policy in Japan is something that is no longer sufficient when dealt within the country. Without the influence of international decision making, it's difficult to see any hope for the future.


05.04.13 (12:45 am)   [edit]
As another great year has passed at the Beijing Workers Club , celebrations are at it's peak. Despite the happiness in the air, the building has been scheduled for destruction over environmental concerns.

The historical building boasts a Cinema and the legendary acrobatic show known as Legend of Jinsha. It's location in Xicheng district of central Beijing has been threatened as demolishing work is being operated in the surrounding area. Workers club and many of the surrounding hutongs and other old buildings will make way for newer residential high-rise apartments.

The decision to remove the building was made after an inspection team concluded that the inside constructions contain severe water damage. Repair costs would add up to astronomical figures and the new building plans are backed up by the Chinese government.

The schedule for the operation is still undecided and subject to discussion. If the Workers Club in Beijing will see another year in operation is yet to be seen.

04.18.13 (5:08 am)   [edit]

Only recently we have seen China colliding with a huge wake up call, as the rise in quality of living and cheap production has swept the nation with environmental problems. But as a great economic power and one party state, it can effectively and quickly divert its resources in fixing the problem.

On the agenda is efficient energy, clean technology and reduced emission programs. A five year plan from 2011 to 2015 is underway, while daring promises are made to clean up the problems.

It is somewhat settling that China is investing more on clean energy production than any other country. What is unsettling however for many countries that to no surprise this is not for selfless reasons. Cheap production of solar panels can overtake the market and create great difficulties for those countries wishing to compete.

However such capitalist game has been the weapon for many so despite the ongoing economic wastefulness on an infinite world, the direction is an optimistic one in comparison.

It will be interesting to see, how China will take the steering wheel of the green revolution. As technology advances it may very well be the answer to not only Chinas problem but the rest of the world as well. The implications of forever strengthening nation are continuing on its rightful course.

The EU is left to fight with the giant, which is awaited to become a true competitor in the green battle field.


04.09.13 (3:54 am)   [edit]
So Beijing is on the move to clear the problem of pollution in 2013. Such an unclear and bold statement just leaves me confused. Obviously the problem is not only in the capital but all around the Chinese mainland. With a projected 7.5% rice of economy in 2013, who are they kidding?

To take off my mind from these and other disturbing issues in China. I went to entertain myself at the "famous" Chaoyang Theatre in Beijing.  I have not seen such horrible garbage for a while. Don't get me wrong, some of the stunts were amazing and these guys are extremely skillful. But as far as the production goes, what a waste of tallent.

 Seems this acrobatic show has been getting more and more lost. With no connection between the acts, no fluidity and mediocre decorations.. the show just never starts off. A show production should lead the atmosphere from the beginning to the end, in Chaoyang Theatre you get to see different clips from different worlds and listen to "circus music" not far from resembling elevator music.

Perhaps that's the problem in China, that people are so disconnected from their world. You just see these glimpses of everything, and only scratch the surface. You would think that such a nation that puts obsessive focus on it's appearance, "to put on a show" so to say, would do great in acrobatics. But seems in Beijing, even that has been lost.


03.06.13 (2:13 am)   [edit]

So it seems there are quite some fears of China polluting Japan. I think this is a serious issue, especially in China but always as usual there is a lot of finger pointing. It's not just Japan who is pointing the finger, even inside China they are accusing neighboring areas of pollution. The people from Qingdao say the polluted fog is coming from Beijing, the Beijingers are saying it's coming from Inner Mongolia.

There is no doubt in my head, that pretty much everyone should be blamed for it. Including but less the consumers. Most of all the companies, including those Japanese ones operating in China. Everyone is just concerned about making money, in every step of the way. If people in higher positions take action, it might have less negative action on them and more on the lower end consumers. That's however the only way of solution I can see working in the short term.


03.02.13 (7:37 am)   [edit]
I was almost going to name this blog asianmature but resisted the temptation. It's because I've seen too many pink eigas lately and I'm starting to think that too much is too much. Hey, greetings from somewhere between Japan and China. I live in both places, but more in Beijing because of business. Use to stay in Tokyo but after what happened I'm not too keen to stay there anymore. Instead I've parked my ass in the oh so difficult place to live Beijing and the second home is mostly in Osaka. So plenty of city life although I am a crazy nature lover, mountaineer person and all that.

What's this about then you ask? It's about our planet, our nature, our lives. I cant just sit here and do nothing about it. Still too young and haven't really found out what to do in life, but I'm gonna find it and whatever it's going to be.. it will be about change, to something better. Ones got to do what one can do. Right!?