Monthly Archives: July 2013

Jul 14

Edward Snowden Asylum Search Stock Photos for Sale for Editorial Use

By Mitchell Blatt | Photos

Edward Snowden is still in Russia looking for asylum after leaking classified NSA documents. He first went to Hong Kong where he revealed that the United States is hacking into Chinese internet. There, he received support from some Hong Kongese activists in the form of signs proclaiming “Save Snowden, Save Freedom”.

Edward Snowden Editorial Use Stock Photos

When I was in Hong Kong recently, I took some photos exploring various aspects of the Edward Snowden situation, which I have put up for sale at Deposit Photos for editorial use. These photos are great for accompanying news stories, as some media outlets have already found out.
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Jul 13

Levels of Contempt: “The Dali Bai People Look Down On the Shaxi Bai People.”

By Mitchell Blatt | Culture , Travel

Beyond nationalism in China, a profound regionalism colors relations as you zoom in on the provincial, county, and even district level within cities.

People in every province take pride in their local specialties. Lanzhou has a huge statue of Lanzhou la mian beef noodles to honor their famous local dish, and Beijing has a stone statue of a BMW to honor their famous civil servants.

The level of local pride sometimes turns into arrogance and contempt towards outsiders. An old joke holds that Shanghai people think there are only two kinds of people: Shanghai people and country folk. Shanghai people are seen as being contemptuous towards outsiders whose cities aren’t as developed as theirs, and, in turn, outsiders view Shanghainese as being arrogant.

In fact, regionalism even manifests itself in comparisons between different communities of the same ethnicity living in the same county in Yunnan. As I discovered when I came to Shaxi, an ancient market town 3 hours away from Dali along the tea road in Yunnan, the Bai minority ethnic people living in Shaxi have somewhat different traditions and culture than those living in Dali. No, Huangmen chicken and hot and sour fish here, the local Bai specialties in Dali.
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Jul 11

No, There is No Evidence the Asiana Airlines Crash Had Anything to Do With Korean Air Safety Standards (Statistics to Prove It)

By Mitchell Blatt | Travel

Since Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed in San Francisco, a lot of reporters and commentators have been speculating about what caused the rare event and what, if anything, should be done as a result.

One of the angles is to ask whether the allegedly lax training standards in South Korea were part of the problem. Powerline, a popular political blog, published an anonymous viral email supposedly written by a foreign trainer in Korea detailing what he says we the “lack of basic piloting skills” he saw from the Korean pilots he trained and lax training standards. The writer, Steven Hayward, didn’t bother to check the veracity of the email, but he said that “the media” should check it.

The facts suggest that there isn’t any relation between the nature of South Korea’s airline industry and the crash, and, at the very least, there is no evidence to suggest any such connection, and claims suggesting there are shouldn’t be published unverified simply on the basis of a single crash. In fact, by some measures, South Korea’s airline industry has higher safety standards than the United States and indeed every country in the world.
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Jul 10

“The Jews of China”: 6 Chinese Books Describing Wenzhou People as “The Jews of China”

By Mitchell Blatt | Culture

The people of Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province are lauded in China for apparently being very successful and business savvy. The Wenzhou people are referred to as “the Jews of China,” and there are even lots of media accounts and books using this phrase to describe them.

Here are some selections from Taobao:

With Wenzhou People, Study the Secrets of Enterprise and Wealth Creation Secrets of “the Jews of China”

跟温州人学创业中国式犹太人创富经解密 小说 李文庠 正版

Fierce Wenzhou People: “The Jews of China’s” Money-Earning Knowledge

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Jul 04

The Film and the Reality: Inside Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions

By Mitchell Blatt | Culture

“The Film and the Reality: Inside Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions,” published in The China Chronicle on July 4, 2013

People are drawn to the Chungking Mansions for all kinds of reasons. Some people come to do business: Africans, Indians, Pakistanis, and Southeast Asians come to the Chungking Mansions en mass to trade cell phones and other items. Some people come to eat curry at one of the many Indian restaurants. Independent young travelers come to stay at the cheap guesthouses.

In 1993, director Wang Kar-wai came here to film Chungking Express. The colorful backdrop of this down and dirty building bustling with people of the world was the perfect setting for his independent masterwork that won the Best Picture at the 1995 Hong Kong Film Awards and established Wang as a leading figure in Hong Kong’s artistic second wave film movement.

Now I’m here at the Chungking Mansions, drawn by the alluring image of the mansions Wang created, if not for the actual Chungking Mansions themselves.

Read full article: The Film and the Reality: Inside Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions

PDF Version

Feature photo taken by Mitchell Blatt.