June 04, 2008


The government released a statement a few days ago that it would be closely monitoring and would NOT be providing visas to foreigners that may be a potential threat to China. This comes after a wave of “ill mannered” foreigners have been booted out of the country on all sorts of charges.

On the local front, popular clubs and bars are now systematically being raided and closed (no doubt reopening when the Olympics are over)while dogs and undercover police are more obvious on the streets. Not that the locals have it any easier, the last few years of forced change are all the more evident now that the Olympics are around the corner. They have eradicated hutongs and street side advertising, chased away outdoor vendors, erected highways and subways (adios mom and pop store...adios mom and pop), and forced millions of Beijing locals to hold in their spit and snot missiles. That last one is a feat that I am quite thankful for.

The latest this week was delivered by WSJ.Com: “Tuesday, the Beijing Olympics organizing committee, known as Bocog, said it would stop coordinated groups of spectators from wearing uniforms or branded clothing in Games venues this August...The basic idea is to create a 'clean sports stadium,' which means it is not commercialized...the authorities will also control billboards in prominent locations to give priority to official sponsors. Athletes and coaches won't be allowed to lend their images to marketing without prior approval from Olympics officials.” The WSJ forgot to mention that all branded clothing, commercialized property and internationally patented and trademarked goods can be bought for “only 1 dollar” at the local markets. Quality is “same same.”


Anonymous said...

Dear JJS,
This piece of yours is quite disconcerning, those mom and pop stores, not to mention mom and pop, are part of the charm that is beijing. I remember the hutong adventures to find the best "peking duck" don't tell me they banned even those little hole in the wall restos?

Anonymous said...

Dear JJS,
This sure doesnt sound like the beijing i use to know, right paolo?

The Jolly Jetsetter said...

Dear Sourpuss
No the small hole in the wall restaurants are still around, though they too are rapidly changing. Facelifts for the Olymics. Lots of red and gold.