Monthly Archives: July 2014

Jul 29

Traveling by Train in China’s Most Densely Populated Province

By Mitchell Blatt | Travel

Last week, I went to Nanjing to Suzhou by high speed train. In a little over an hour, I had been through five cities with populations of over 1 million. If I stayed on the train a little longer, I would have ended up in Shanghai, with a population of over 20 million. All in all, the ride from Nanjing to Shanghai is about 300 kilometers, and it passes through seven cities with populations over 1 million and four with populations over 3 million.

The first time I took that route from Nanjing to Shanghai in 2011, I was interested in looking out the window at all the buildings, amazed at how the city seemed to go on non-stop once you got to Wuxi. Now it’s a common experience, but it’s still pretty amazing to think about. I made a map to illustrate the huge population of just one 300 kilometer plane in Eastern China.

The route passes through Jiangsu province the entire way until it gets to Shanghai. Jiangsu is the most densely populated province, and the fifth most populous province in total, with 78 million people living in 102,600 square km. At 766 people per sq. km., it’s more densely populated than every U.S. state.Continue reading

Jul 27

A Rejoinder to Ron Paul

By Mitchell Blatt | Foreign Affairs

For the past few years, Ron Paul has been castigating the Obama administration and members of Congress who support arming rebels in Syria.

His typical argument goes something like the one he made on June 14, 2013:
“The rebels, we don’t even know who they are. … It’s probably going to help the al Qaeda. The weapons we send over there are probably going to end up in the hands of the al Qaeda and will be used against the American people.”

After chemical weapons use was suspected by Assad (which Paul called a false flag), the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity published an article calling the push for an attack by the West “Another Western War Crime In The Making.”

Clearly Paul is anti-war, it would seem.

It would seem.
Continue reading

Jul 08

Global Times Calls Occupy Central Cyberattacks “Sympathy-Getting Ploy”, Self-Inflicted Injury

By Mitchell Blatt | Uncategorized

From June 20-29, about 790,000 people voted in Occupy Central’s referendum on universal suffrage. That number was 8 times greater than leader Benny Tai had publicly expected when the movement was facing some negative press coverage in the weeks after their deliberation day. After the vote, an estimated 500,000 people* marched in the annual June 1 protest.

Before the vote, it was reported that Occupy Central’s servers were hacked. The reports made big news in the days leading up to and during the poll (SCMP).

It even made news in China, but not with the same connotations as it did in most of the Hong Kong papers. Global Times, a government-owned paper, on their front page on June 30, called the reported attacks a self-inflicted “sympathy-getting ploy.”

Hong Kong Daily News reported on the 29th that Occupy Central leader Chen Jianmin said the electronic voting had once again been intensely attacked by hackers, who had tried to steal the website’s passwords, the day before, and they had reported it to the police. In Hong Kong Ta Kung Pao’s analysis, printed on the 29th, as Occupy Central continues to stage these hacking attacks on the voting site dramas day after day, the opposition is playing the “grief card”. The opposition isContinue reading

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Mitchell Blatt is an intrepid travel writer, and an author of two top China guidebooks, who brings his readers deep into the cultures of the places he explores. Subscribe now to get real stories of real people in real places around the world delivered right to your inbox.