Offbeat China

Sep 18

Chinese are having fun while waiting in line for iPhone 6 in Australia

Chinese are having fun while waiting in line for iPhone 6 in Australia

Sep 16


Sep 15


Sep 12


Sep 11


Is China’s army ready to win a modern war?

Half of Chinese people surveyed believe that a war with Japan in the near future is inevitable, according to a poll by Genron. But is China ready for a war? Are China’s military forces ready to fight Japanese soldiers again, 70 years after the last Sino-Japanese War? The following two stories may give a hint.

In major military conflicts, logistics are often crucial in deciding the overall outcome of wars, and are yet full of uncertainties given the ever changing needs of the troops. Successful military logistic management involves highly professional knowledge of strategy, intelligent, training and finance, among others.

The Chinese army, however, has it all figured out, at least when it comes to how to comfortably feed several hundreds of soldiers without being noticed by the enemy.


A mechanized infantry division based in north China marched a few hundred miles to Nanjing to fight local forces in a combat exercise earlier this month. But they never needed to cook a single meal on their way. Why? Because they had a special dispatch that would go “plain clothes” to buy box lunches and bottle water from villagers along the way.

According to one officer: “The tactic not only reduces burden on logistics, but also increases overall flexibility and mobility.”

Now that the logistics are covered. How about actually winning the war?

Again, in a recent exercise, a mechanized infantry division “red army” from north China was sent to combat a “professional” “blue army” in southern China.

In the evening of the final battle, the “red army”, who has come across half China to the base, was on high alert because they’ve been ambushed a few times along the way by the “blue army.” Just as the commander was touring the base, report came that a group of local cadres were there to say hello, with gifts such as potatoes, cabbages, soft drinks, and a banner that read “Warmly welcome the People’s Liberation Army.”

But guess what? Those were no local cadres. They were undercover “blue army” soldiers. And the commander of the “red army” was sniped on spot. Bang!

And no, the two stories are not made up, nor are they from the Onion - one is from Xinhua News, and the other Guangdong Satellite TV.

Let’s go back to our original question of whether China’s current military forces are ready to fight a war with Japan. The answer is most definitely yes. They are going to fight another war with Japan in the exact same way they fought the last one 70 years ago.

Sep 09


Sep 08


Sep 03


Aug 27


BMW releases new 3-wheel electronic car in China 

BMW releases new 3-wheel electronic car in China 

Anonymous said: I'm not sure if you wrote or were simply cross-posting that article about Liu Ting coming out as trans, but it keeps using male pronouns in spite of her making it clear that she's a trans woman, which is disrespectful

Thanks for pointing it out. I actually thought about it before writing, but decided to use “he” because the surgery isn’t done yet, and also for the clarity of the content. 

Aug 26

Out of the transgender closet: From national moral model to trans woman

On August 14, Liu Ting, who’ve received titles like “China Moral Model,” “China Filial Piety Model” and “Pride of Zhejiang,” announced in a press conference that he has decided to become a woman. The news has made national headlines as if there is something about transgender that goes against being a “moral model” - exactly how Liu felt in the past 7 years. Liu

Liu feels and acts like a female since early days of his childhood. “I’ve always felt that I’m a girl, and that I’d grow up into a woman.” Liu explained. But he was prohibited from doing anything girly, and was sometimes punished physically for staying true to his female heart.

He was confused about which restroom to go. He was afraid of going back to his all-male dorm. When he first expressed the will to do sex-change surgery, his mom said no: “In China, women are still by large seen as inferior to men. You shouldn’t give up your male identity so easily.” Sadly, Liu agreed: “Being a trans woman in China means discrimination.”

If homosexuals are considered a marginalized group in China, transgender people are practically invisible. Jin Xing, China’s most well-known transgender celebrity, once called China’s transgender groups a “tiny island.”


Liu’s mom was diagnosed with uremia when Liu was 13. Sex-change surgery was officially out of the question as medical expenses to treat his mom broke the family apart. After Liu’s dad disappeared, teenage Liu took on the responsibility of taking care of his mom at home.

Liu even took his mom with him to college, running between their rented apartment and classrooms. It is this action that earned him titles like “China Moral Model” and “China Filial Piety Model.” He started to receive invitations to interviews and talks. But fame only further locked him in the closet.

“The honor leaves only one choice of gender for me….The public sees me as a model son. To meet public expectations of the title, I will have to live as a man. I feel depressed.”

Liu tried – cut hair short, socialized more with male friends, learnt to smoke – but failed. “I felt like I was skinned.” He described the days when he tried to be a man.

Seeing his son’s struggle, Liu’s mom made the final decision that it was time for Liu to get professional help: “If he is not national moral model, he is free to do sex-change surgery. But he is, so he struggled. I struggled, too. But I finally came to realization that being a transgender has nothing to do with morality.”

Liu’s decision to become a woman received overwhelming support from Chinese netizens who hailed his courage to be his true self. “Liu is not only a moral model of filial piety, but also a moral model of personal freedom.” One netizen commented.

But even with support from the online community, Liu may still face mountains of obstacles in real life since official recognition and government support of the LGBT population in China is still very limited. Homosexuality was only removed from the country’s list of mental diseases in 2001.

As the title of Liu’s new book goes: We will be all right

Aug 25


Aug 21

Life of Pi(g) moment in flooded Zhejiang province

Life of Pi(g) moment in flooded Zhejiang province