A Chinese woman has purchased a $6.5 million condo in the heart of New York City for her two-year-old daughter, according to Yahoo!'s The Exchange.
The luxury apartment is in One57 Tower, which is currently under construction. The realtor who showed apartments to the woman said she wanted an apartment for her daughter who she said would go to Columbia University, New York University, or Harvard so she wanted an apartment in the center of the city. In a city where apartment inventory has shrunk due to demand, this is one family that doesn't have to worry about off-campus housing anymore.
A photo of China First Lady, Peng Liyuan, serenading Chinese troops decades ago is generating buzz on social media, according to the Associated Press.
In the photo, Peng, a famous folk singer, is dressed in a green military uniform as she sings to martial law troops after a crackdown on pro-demoncracy supporters in 1989. The picture is a reminder that although China may be trying to revamp the image of its leaders, it can't shy away from the past. The photo was quickly censored on the Internet though many people in China are aware of Peng's affiliation with the military as she is one of the most famous singers in China.
I came across this video on CNN about a spot in Hong Kong that offers real life video games. Guests who go can choose from seven different games, each housed in a separate room. Each party must find codes, solve puzzles, and crack codes to win the game.
Each group gets 45-minutes to try to solve the game and they can ask for hints only one time. Once the time is up, the game is over and unlike video games, guests cannot continue playing; they must play a different game on subsequent visits.
I can't wait to try out this real life video game the next time I'm in Hong Kong.
Peng is a household name in China. The soprano rose to fame when she performed at the first CCTV New Year's Gala, China's most-watched television program which airs on Chinese New Year's Eve.
In the years leading up to Xi's appointment, Peng slowly faded from the limelight. She stopped performing on the gala and was given a desk job in China's military - steps taken to ensure she and her superstar status would not upstage her husband.
While the world got a glimpse of China's First Lady this week as she accompanied Xi on a three-nation tour, her fans are no doubt happy to see her publically again but it's unclear if she will re-ignite her singing career. Either way, she is already breaking the mold of the First Lady in China.
While it may not seem like news to most, a posting on blog ChinaSmack about exorbitant housing prices in Beijing caught my attention this week.
The article is about an advertisement for a home in Wudaokou, a college neighborhood home to Peking University and Tsinghua University in northwest Bejing, that costs 100,000 RMB per square foot (roughly US$16,000).
When I first moved to Beijing in May 2006, I settled into "The Wu" as foreigners affectionately call it. I was studying Chinese for the summer at Peking University and stayed in the neighborhood even after getting a job and despite the joking by my colleagues who all lived in Chaoyang, a neighborhood in Beijing's eastern district popular with foreigners.
Before moving to Beijing, I had been living in New York City. When I found my apartment - a two-bedroom in Huaqing Jiayuan, a sprawling apartment complex in Wudaokou - I was elated that the rent was $600 a month. Fast forward a few years and it's now on par with big cities in the U.S. thanks to the Beijing Olympics and an influx of foreigners and Chinese who move to the capital in search of good schools (the two best universities in the country are here so the public schools are considered tops in the city) and jobs (which don't always materialize).
Like folks in New York who wonder if they will ever be able to afford to buy an apartment, Beijingers are also grapping with this issue as the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen while housing prices continue to skyrocket.
When the National People's Congress ended this weekend, China saw its newest leaders present a path forward that includes frugality and pursuit of the 'China Dream,' according to CNN.
"We must make persistent efforts, press ahead with indomitable will, continue to push forward the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and strive to achieve the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said President Xi Jinping at a keynote speech.
The remarks come four months after former President Hu Jintao stressed to the 2,200 delegates the importance of dealing with corruption.
China's deputy vice-president Li Keqiang has been named premier, according to CNN.
Li was one of seven men tapped to be part of the Standing Committee of the Poliburo, a decision revealed last November at the once-a-decade handover of power at the conclusion of the Party Congress in Beijing. Li will replace Wen Jiabao.
Power in China is based on a pyramid scheme with supreme power at the top. The Standing Committee of the Politburo holds supreme power. The Committee is responsible for maintaining the Party's control of the state and military. Its members achieve this by holding the highest positions in the State Council, which oversees the government, the National People's Congress- China's rubber-stamp legislature, and the Central Military Commission, which runs the armed forces. The base of the Communist Party includes provincial-level, county-level, and township-level People's Congresses and Party Committees. Fewer than 6-percent of Chinese are members, yet it is the most powerful political party in the world.
Almost as soon as the Chinese government announced new housing regulations, which include assessing a 20-percent capital gains tax on profits on home sales, couples flocked to get divorced, according to The New York Times.
Just as when previous housing regulations are introduced, home owners scrambled to find loopholes in the new rules. While some couples went to the housing bureau to sell their homes before the new regulations take place, other applied for divorce to avoid the capita gains tax. While many couples admited the divorces were merely divorces on paper (once they sell their homes and the divorces are finalized, they can reapply to marry again) it shows the extremes those in a position of power or wealth will go to circumvent the system.
The death of Haobo, a two-month-old baby, has sparked controversy in China with citizens taking to social networking site Weibo to criticize the baby's parents, the governmet, and the media, according to CNN.
The boy's father Xu Jialin left the child in his running car as he stopped at the grocery store he owned in Changchun in Jilin Province. A man, 48-year-old Zhou Xijun, stole the car with the child in it, later abandoning the car and strangling the child to death.
As with high profile cases such as this, the public took to social media websites to question, among other things, how a parent could leave their child in a car, the media for sensationalizing the story, the government for its inability to catch the suspect before the child was killed, and deteriorating morals in society.
Haobo's death is reminiscent of the highly publicized death of another two-year-old. Wang Yue who died after being run over on a street in Foshan in Guangdong Province. As the toddler lay in the street, she was passed by 18 bystanders who offered no assistance. The child was run over a second time and later died. At the time, folks took to social media to blame the same people: the parents, the media, and the government. As in that case, the Chinese government quickly order the media to reduce its coverage and give it a positive angle. Sadly, another child is the victim of history repeating itself in China, which leads the country to yet again examine its conscience.