“The world is so beautiful. I want to live and see this world.” When documentary maker Guo Ke heard these words from Wei Shaolan, a woman forced into sex slavery by Japanese soldiers during their invasion of China, he was barely able to comprehend it.
For the past two decades, Li Xiaoyun, a professor at the China Agricultural University (CAU), has devoted himself to eliminating poverty in China’s rural areas. As he turns 55 years old, he shows no sign of stopping and has even expanded his reach to Africa.
“Follow Lei Feng’s example, never forget the philosophy of hard work and plain living!”
The loudspeaker in Liu Jianguang’s minivan, covered with posters of Lei Feng, red flags and the flags of the Communist Party of China (CPC), blares out the slogan as he travels from Hele village to his next stop, Ganquan village in Chongzhou, Sichuan Province.
When Kirk Kenney, co-founder of folk band Mountain High, was a teenager, China wasn’t even a blip on his radar. He grew up in a sheltered suburb of St. Petersburg, Florida, spending most of his time watching television.
Last week, he played two packed shows at the National Center of the Performing Arts in Beijing, speaking to the crowd in fluent Chinese, and joyfully performed traditional music with some of the most talented folk musicians in China.
It is no longer a strange thing in China for political and entertainment news to mix. The most recent example of this occurred when Taiwanese singer and actress Liu Le-yan, known in Taiwan for her voluptuous figure, made controversial comments on the Chinese mainland’s aircraft carrier Liaoning, which passed through the Taiwan Straits last Wednesday.
A farmer from the Dachang Hui Autonomous County in Langfang, Hebei Province, he has travelled frequently in the past decade between his home and the capital, lodging complaints and filing lawsuits in a bid to uncover the truth about his daughter, who died from leukemia in June 2007 at the age of 17.
For years, Gong Yuwen, an ordinary-looking 18-year-old high-school dropout, spent most of her days camped at the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, stalking and taking photos of the celebrities who passed through.
Gong enjoyed an exciting life as a full-time fan, until she herself was one day thrown into the spotlight when this story of a die-hard fan at Hongqiao airport, a dropout and jobless girl living off her grandparents went viral on the Internet. Now nicknamed “Hongqiao Diva” by the media, she had to deal with the unexpected fame, criticism, and people who want to profit from her notoriety.
Today, the man who taught English for the revolution has carved out a business empire in Nigeria and become a millionaire who owns a chain of hotels, restaurants and factories in the West African country. He became Nigeria’s first foreign “chieftain,” is known locally by his English name Jacob Wood and believes that US-style democracy is no way forward for Africa. We spoke to 68-year-old Hu Jieguo about his adventurous life.
Four years ago, Chen was still a homeowner. To make the trip possible, he sold his apartment for about 8 million yuan ($1.15 million). The apartment, located in the CBD area on the Third Ring Road in Beijing, is now valued at about 21 million yuan.
While meeting with Premier Li Keqiang on Monday, Zhang Huamei was introduced as “the first registered private business owner in China.” Li shook her hand and asked what business she ran. “Buttons,” she replied, “Now it’s an enterprise.”
Jampa Chupal Sangpo, 38, is dedicated to protecting Tibetan-populated regions in China from AIDS.
Hao Jingfang, the winner of this year’s international sci-fi award Hugo Award, tries not to be influenced by the public’s insistence on putting her into certain categories.
Student Kang Chenwei waited anxiously outside a teahouse while his female schoolmate secretly recorded a professor from her Beijing university, a sting operation they set up after a third student claimed the professor had harassed, drugged and groped her.
Relics looted from the Summer Palace in 1860 and wine sales seem to be two totally separate things, but in Gao Naping’s class, they are inextricably linked.
“One day, two bandits entered the Summer Palace. One plundered, the other burned…Before history, one of the two bandits will be called France; the other will be called England.” Gao was reading to her French students in a class on China’s wine market in a business college in Montpellier in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, south of France.
After working at a public institution in a county government in Shangrao, East China’s Jiangxi Province, for several years, Wang Ke (pseudonym), aged 30, was ready for a career move from the county to the city, even though he was HIV positive – a secret he had kept from all but his family.
For 16 years, there’s one homework assignment Hu Yian always gives his class: to write a will.
When his students hear this, the class usually breaks into chaos, but Hu always insists.
"Isn't this cool?" 50-year-old Jing Haipeng asked his fellow astronaut Chen Dong in the cabin of Shenzhou-11 spaceship after it launched successfully from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on October 17. "Very cool!" Chen, flying for the first time, answered in awe.
In big cities like Beijing, it is not rare to see graffiti on some deserted wall get painted over without drawing much reaction from the public. But one artist has been so prolific that he has outpaced continuing clean-up efforts, and started to call people's attention to his paintings and street art culture in general.