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Beijing Scene, Volume 5, Issue 23, August 27 - September 2


Enterprising Spirit
In the spirit of China's new market economy, even kids are getting greedy. They have found ways to cheat their parents out of money by forging tuition certificates for school and getting their parents to give them money to pay for the fictitious tuition.

One man who owns a photocopy shop near a school in Chengdu, Sichuan Province tells journalists, "Every year at the end of summer vacation many students come to our shop, and ask to type over their original tuition certificates and then photocopy these to create fake tuition certificates, often with exorbitant figures. These vary from RMB 9,000- RMB 20,000 for tuition per semester." The students of course pocket the difference between the real tuition and what their parents give them based on the fake certificates.

The owner of the shop opines, "It is good that these students are very anxious to get out there and do business. However, they should not be doing it by ripping off their own parents."
-Beijing Evening News

Deep Freeze
In Tongliang County of Chongqing Municipality, the local Public Security raided a karaoke club. The boss of the club was at first very hesitant to open the door. Nevertheless, when the police waved their badges he had no choice but to let them enter his club for an inspection.

Meanwhile, inside a customer was busy making love to one of the sanpei or "three accompaniment" girls in the privacy of a karaoke room. Not so private! The chef working in the restaurant of the club interrupted their dalliance to warn that the police were raiding the clubŠ in a matter of minutes they would be bursting into the karaoke room as well. As prostitution is illegal, an arrest would be almost certain. The girl quickly scrambled for her clothes. The customer was desperate to escape.

The chef led the customer into the kitchen. There was no escape. What to do? "Quick, hide here!" The chef opened the big refrigerator. The naked customer jumped into the refrigerator and hid there. The police found a girl sitting alone in a karaoke room singing to herself. Very natural.

Nothing wrong. They then searched the entire club. No customers anywhere, not even hiding in the kitchen. The police left. The chef sighed in relief, and then opened the refrigerator. The naked customer was frozen inside, his entire body as stiff as any single particular part might have been moments before entering the refrigerator.

He seemed to have no breath as everything had frozen. In a rush the chef and karaoke club manager took the frozen customer to the hospital, naked. It took the hospital two hours to revive him. Any further delay and he would have frozen to death.
-Beijing Evening News

Wang Can't Play
China will not release 7-foot center Wang Zhizhi of the Bayi Rockets to play for the Dallas Mavericks, an official of the Chinese army team was quoted as saying.

"It's a nice thing that Wang was selected by Dallas at the NBA draft on June 30. But we can't let him go because it's not the right time either for our team or for Wang himself," the state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Bayi's manager Qian Limin as saying.

The Bayi Rockets won their fifth consecutive Chinese Basketball Association title last season, led by Wang.

Ross Perot, owner of the Mavericks, and coach Don Nelson were in Beijing for talks with the Bayi Rockets and the league, Xinhua said.

Geomantic Traffic
In Jianli County, Hubei Province, there is an S-shaped road which due to its sharp curves witnesses one traffic tragedy after another. More than a dozen people have died here due to the dangerous topography of the road.

Earlier this year three children died in a traffic accident and another was critically injured. While many called for a traffic light or "Stop" sign to be placed at this critical crossing, nobody in the local government did anything about it despite the death toll.

The local county authorities finally invited a feng shui (or traditional geomancy) master to visit the site and determine what should be done, rather than listening to traffic or road management specialists. In a moment of vision, the feng shui master determined that all of the traffic problems could be solved by simply putting a yin-yang or taiji symbol on the top and bottom of an "S" depicted on a road sign. So two yin-yang diagrams were carved into a sign, one on top of an "S" and one on the bottom. Everybody sighed with relief knowing that the feng shui master had solved the road problem.

Two days later two cars had a head-on collision. Nevertheless, the transportation department of the county government has not bothered to put up a "Stop" sign or traffic light, claiming that this is no longer under their jurisdiction as the feng shui master is now in charge of administering this problem.
-Beijing Evening News

Family Values
Mrs. Hong had to xiagang or lose her government job recently. She went to a career training center and sat around for nearly a year waiting for a new job. She was offered all kinds of jobs such as working as a waitress, clothing store salesperson, etc. but she looked down on all of these new career opportunities.

Her husband said to her one day, "Why are you so picky, you should just take one of those jobs and make some money."
Mrs. Hong replied, "No need, I have already bought one year's worth of
lottery tickets. So what if I have no job?"
Her husband reminded her, "Don't you know the chance of winning the lottery is very low? Don't just sit around dreaming."
Mrs. Hong was furious and snapped back, "Don't say such unlucky words. If others can make it rich through the lottery, then so can I! You think that your lousy little wages are so great. Well, you wait till I win the lottery and then start to speculate on stocks. At that time, when I make so much more money than you, then we can get a divorce!"
-Xinmin Evening News

Private Housing
China has unveiled plans to commercialize housing and stop the allocation of residences as a form of welfare for state sector employees. Xinhua news agency quoted Liu Zhifeng, Vice Minister of Construction, as saying that under a plan to be implemented soon residents of state-owned housing will have to purchase their homes by using subsidies, public housing funds, or loans. Government departments and institutions will stop the allocation of housing built since the end of 1998 as a form of welfare, Liu was quoted as saying.

New apartments and older publicly-owned housing will, in principle, be sold to state sector employees instead of rented to them and the government will gradually raise rents on publicly-owned apartments, he says. Tenants whose earnings are above the government minimum will have to move out of reduced-rent housing, Xinhua says although it gives no figures. Premier Zhu Rongji took office in March 1998 with an ambitious deadline for scrapping free housing, a major perk of the socialist economy, in order to cut state expenditures and stimulate the economy by invigorating the property market.

However, the deadline quietly lapsed last year in the face of bureaucratic and political resistance and because relatively few urban residents can afford to buy their homes.

Xinhua quoted Liu as saying people living below the poverty level can qualify to rent government housing and apply for housing subsidies, with the extremely poor to be offered exemptions or rent reductions.


  Previous Briefs...

August 20 - 26, 1999

August 13 - 19, 1999

August 6 - 12, 1999

July 30 - August 5, 1999

July 23 -29, 1999

July 16 -22, 1999

July 9 - 15, 1999

July 2 - 8, 1999

June 25 - July 1, 1999


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