Steve's China Blog

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Got salt?

My internet here has been having a lot of problems lately. Here's an article that explains why...

China Tightens Censorship of Electronic Communications

If anyone wonders whether the Chinese government has tightened its grip on electronic communications since protests began engulfing the Arab world, Shakespeare may prove instructive.

A Beijing entrepreneur, discussing restaurant choices with his fiancée over their cellphones last week, quoted Queen Gertrude’s response to Hamlet: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." The second time he said the word "protest," her phone cut off.

The increased internet censorship hasn't been very effective. Just very annoying. Luckily they haven't done anything noticable to my phone.

I was hoping to post some last week about the effects here of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but didn't get a chance. There were a few things that seemed odd. The first was all of the rumors flying around about big radiation clouds coming to China, etc... I got a lot of panic filled messages from friends. One of them was about how eating salt would help resist radiation poisoning. This was the result...

Stop hoarding salt, China tells radiation-scared shoppers

China's economic agency told shoppers Thursday to stop panic buying salt, blaming baseless rumors that the iodine in it can stop radiation sickness.

The Chinese government has repeatedly said the country's residents will not be exposed to radiation from a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan which engineers are frantically trying to bring under control after it was damaged by last Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

There is actually a store near my apartment which in English is called The Sichuan Salt Store. When I first saw it I thought that maybe the the name was mistranslated, which happens a lot here, but it turns out it is a store that sells salt. Usually I never see any customers there (mostly because Chinese do not use a lot of salt in their food), but last week there was a line of customers around the block!

This is the story this week....

Chinese salt hoarders pepper stores with demands for refunds

The nation was caught up in a buying frenzy last week amid Japan's nuclear reactor crisis. Now people are lining up to return the seasoning after learning it won't protect them from radiation.

One of the most interesting results of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is the reaction of the Chinese people. Normally Chinese people will tell you that they hate the Japanese, which is what the government here has brainwashed them into believing. But most of the Chinese I have talked to, and seen posting on the internet, have a great deal of respect for how the Japanese behaved during and after the disasters.

Of course, there are some idiots here who still cling to their politically induced hatred. They remind me of the mind-numbed zombie liberals in back in the USA.


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