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CHINA, BEIJING : Chinese honour guards prepare for the arrival of New Zealand’s Governor-General Jerry Mateparae and Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 21, 2015. Mateparae is on a visit to China from July 20 to 24.                      AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO

The East End American Dream Shoreditch London Photo Hugh Ardoin

You start with the coke, then the Bud that tastes like a promise for better bubbly future yet stale, and a survivor of the golden age of the American dream - a 50′s Ford stepside (a brand name for 1955 Chevrolet ½ ton pickup that became a generic name), the age of the jellymould jalopies’ last stand; all gone now probably water-boarded to extinction, the last of the Mohicans of their times

A welded wire mesh gate stands to keep the dreamers out and the disenchanted in, an almost subtle reminder of a segregation never since gone, but the yellow brick road is turning into silk

Recommended readings Governance Of China by XI Jinping you will discover that governments may care about the people’s happiness, the moderately prosperous society, accountability, and the Chinese Dream

Hugh Ardoin more about Londoners here

Angola: Fear and Loathing in Luanda

Following the drop in oil prices from the third quarter of 2014, the Angolan government had to revisit its 2015 budget, adjusting its originally expansionist budget by slashing public expenditure by one third, and taking out loans of $500m from investment banks. Shortly after, President dos Santos went to China to request another $25bn in oil-backed loans, and asking for a rescheduling of repayments of the existing loans, a fact which was met with increased outrage and mockery by the Angolan public.

Independent weekly ‘A Hora’, for example, ran a headline in intentionally incorrect, ‘Chinese’ Portuguese with the smiling face of Chinese President Xi Jinping saying ‘Angola is not well. Angolan only want money, money, money. Chinese give money, Angolan give [the provinces of] Cuando Cubango, Cuanza-Sul and Moxico”.

Orville Schell: To Restore Relationship, US and China Should Consider ‘Previously Unthinkable Options' 

“To achieve any kind of lasting breakthrough in the China-United States relationship, both sides must be prepared to make difficult concessions,” writes Asia Society’s Orville Schell in the New York Times.

Read the full story here.

In 2006, Lu Jun co-founded the Beijing Yirenping Center as an organization to advocate against discrimination of people carrying Hepatitis B and other communicable diseases. The group has since grown to become one of China’s largest and most respected NGOs dealing with public health and rights issues. As Xi Jinping’s government tries to rein in China’s civil society, Yirenping has been repeatedly targeted: several of the women activists detained in March had worked with the group, the group’s Beijing offices were raided during their detention, and two former staff members of Zhengzhou Yirenping Center have been detained (and since released). In April, the Foreign Ministry announced that Yirenping would be investigated for illegal activity, but did not clarify what activity that was.

Lu Jun is currently a visiting fellow at the New York University U.S. Asia Law Institute. In 2005, Southern Weekend named Lu one of the “Top Ten People of the Year.” China Digital Times Executive Editor Sophie Beach recently asked Lu to share his insights into running an NGO in China, the current status of civil society given the recent tightening, the proposed Foreign NGO Management Law, and the recent detentions of lawyers and rights activists. Read the interview here.

           I just imagine pissed off nations staring at Un and Khodorkovsky every time they impose new laws. Or when they claim resources valuable to them (since they work on annihilating the enemies, its wise to remember that what they want to use for themselves but belongs to the enemy—- they straight up just claim instead of destroy). Like it can be Japan or South Korea or smth, Un and Khodorkovsky just go: “Ok well this is ours now, we made it. Its ours”.
          I’d say Xi Jinping was also a part of this but trust me he’s the one anime character that stays in the background and watches carefully and doesn’t do impulsive shit like the rest. How the fuck do you think he won the war?

Art News | Ai Weiwei free to travel, RA rejoices

Ai Weiwei rocked Instagram yet again yesterday when he posted a picture of himself holding his Chinese passport.  Chinese authorities confiscated the document four years ago, and he has, obviously, been unable to leave the country since.  While I’m sure his son in Berlin is delighted by the news that he’ll be able to welcome his dear old dad for the first time in years, it is officials at the Royal Academy who are truly dancing in the streets as this could not have come at a better time for them.  The first major retrospective of Ai’s works in the UK will open at the RA on 19 September, and they have already announced that the artist WILL be in attendance.  Curious timing as this also coincides with a state visit to the UK by China’s President Xi Jinping in October, who probably did not want his visit fueled by bad press over Ai’s absence at a landmark exhibition…but perhaps that’s just a fortunate coincidence for both.  Either way, Ai Weiwei is delighted, and remains hopeful that this also means he will be allowed back in the country.

via The Daily Telegraph

Preview | The Phoenix Bursary at Glasgow School of Art

Just over a year after a devastating fire claimed the final degree show of Glasgow School of Art’s class of 2014, 90 students are finally getting their chance to shine with the opening of the Phoenix Bursary exhibition.  The exhibition, the culmination of a six-month programme that provided studios and living expenses to students whose work was lost or damaged in the blaze, opens this Friday in the modern building opposite the still tarnished Mackintosh building.  While some students created all new works, many in reference to the fire and the process of rebuilding, others chose to recreate the projects that they had originally submitted for the show.  One student reflects that, “when you’re in fourth year, your degree show feels more important than graduation…”  Indeed there was a real sense of loss when that was suddenly taken away from them, but the students are hopeful that their works will present even more authority given the dramatic circumstances under which they were created.  Phoenix Bursary opens Friday 24 July at the Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art.

via the Guardian

Review |  From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires at MoMA

Ariella Budick writes a glowing review of a new exhibition at NYC’s MoMA which reunites Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola through the first joint exhibition of the one-time couple’s separate bodies of work.  Throughout the exhibition, viewers will encounter photomontages of women dismembered, fleeing dinosaurs, or being manipulated by male hands, but all without gore and invoking a peaceful familiarity that negates some of the horrifying imagery.  These images hail from Grete Stern’s  Sueños series, the core of the exhibition, and a body of work with little exposure outside of Argentina.  Stern drew inspiration from imagining the dreams of everyday women, and fashioning them into “vivid, funny, biting” images.  Sharing the stage, though with perhaps a slightly less imposing presence, Horacio Coppola’s images of Buenos Aires in the 1930s depict a city with “the swagger of Paris without its softness, and at night [a luminescence] with all the confident energy of the booming bourgeoisie.”  The curators have put together an exhibition that explores both the soul and surface of Buenos Aires through the lenses of two artists who once explored its streets together -  Bauhaus ambassadors to Latin America.  From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola is at MoMA until 4 October.

via Financial Times

Kevin Rudd on CNBC: Don’t Confuse the Chinese Stock Market with Overall Economy 

Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, cautioned “the stock market plays a relatively small role in the overall context of Chinese financial markets.”

Read the full story here.

Chinese Web Censors Not Happy About Uniqlo's Changing-Room Sex Viral Video

Chinese Web Censors Not Happy About Uniqlo’s Changing-Room Sex Viral Video

Uniqlo sex video: Police investigate smartphone footage showing couple doing the ‘secret communist handshake’ in Uniqlo’s Beijing flagship store changing room

Laura Lorenzetti reports: A sex tape filmed in a changing room of Uniqlo’s Beijing flagship store went viral on Chinese social media, sending national authorities into a…

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