The second ever Olympic Games in China are only 2.5 years away. There will again be statements from the IOC and others, including European government leaders, on how events like the Olympics promote human rights and bring countries and societies closer together. They don’t. Just ask Cheng Yuan, Liu Yangze and Xiao Wu.
Brace yourself if you’re no fan of made up holidays. The most nonsensical of all such holidays is happening in two days. It’s the eleventh annual Serfs Emancipation Day in Tibet. A holiday quite literally forced on people if ever there was one.
Mobike, Ofo Bike, Hello Bike, Didi Bike… loads of bike sharing bicycles crowd the streets in Chinese cities. Remarkably few are being used. Riding a Mobike on the streets of Shanghai feels like joining a Formula 1 race in a 1986 Peugeot 205.
A buyer in China paid EUR 1.25 million for a pigeon. The Chinese interest in racing pigeons has been growing for quite some time now, driving up the prices. I visited the CEO of a shipyard in Wenzhou, who then had just bought a Dutch pigeon for EUR 250.400 - a record amount at the time. He dropped everything to talk pigeons.
In Urumqi, a Chinese city divided by deadly racial violence and suppression of its muslim Uighur population, an ethnically mixed baseball team is training to win the national championship. Against all odds.