Robert E. Lee and Chiang Kai Shek. Both historical figures of their respective countries’ civil wars and both out of favor at the moment. While this is a relatively new problem facing U.S. officials, their Taiwanese counterparts have been dealing with the problem since 1999. Some 200-plus Chiang statues have been relocated from public schools, government office buildings and other locations to a lakeside park. As the number of memorials grow in the park each year, so do the number of visitors, mostly taking selfies. U.S. officials may wish to take note! ♦

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Despite how their government may feel about President Donald Trump, not all Chinese are mad at the U.S. president.  Many, though, are mad about Trump-look-alike balloons!  Huh?

Forget the masks and toilet paper rolls; the latest Chinese manufacturer to cash in on the Trump train is a balloon factory.  

To welcome in the Year of the Rooster, a Chinese balloon factory created giant inflatable rooster balloons crowned with Trump’s signature “golden mane.”  The inflatables don’t come cheap either.  A 30-ft version, available through Taobao, will set you back USD 3,000.  A smaller 6-ft version can be had for USD 52.

By Elaine Dunn

Xi Jinping has propagated his “Chinese Dream” since 2012.  But, being a BIG soccer fan, he has been sowing seeds for another dream to become reality - a dream soccer team.  In January 2016, China published its first soccer instruction kindergarten textbook nationwide.  There also are textbooks for middle and senior grades.  Soccer has become serious business officially. 

Chinese are competitive.  However, much to the chagrin of the country's soccer fans, the Chinese national team has only qualified for the World Cup once, in 2002, where it failed to score a single goal and was eliminated in the group stage!  During the 2014 World Cup opening match, there was a single fan waving a Chinese flag in the stadium.  That met with mixed sentiments on the Internet.  "Does he mean to remind the entire world that China failed to qualify?" was one pointed comment!  Ouch.  

Former New York Police Officer Peter Liang will not serve time behind bars for the death of Akai Gurley.  Gurley died from a bullet fired by Liang that had ricocheted off a wall in a dark stairwell in a Brooklyn housing project in November 2014.

Outside the courthouse on April 19, sentencing day, scores of angry protesters and more than 200 cops gathered, including those from the NYPD's counterterrorism unit.  Metal barricades were put up to control potential clashes between Liang supporters and Gurley protesters.  Emotions ran high.  Liang’s supporters held up “One tragedy, two victims” signs and chanted “Justice for Liang.”  Gurley’s supporters chanted, "Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail.  The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

Two years ago, around the time of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, the chief editor of investigative newspaper Ming Pao was brutally stabbed on the streets of Hong Kong.  

Two years later, following Ming Pao’s front-page story linking top Hong Kong businessmen, celebrities and politicians to offshore accounts as revealed in the Panama Papers leak, its top news editor was abruptly sacked on April 19.  Is it coincidence or is it another form of suppressing press freedom? 

Ming Pao is one of Hong Kong’s most respected Chinese-language papers.  Its management issued an official statement claiming the firing was a cost-cutting move.  However, staff and journalist organizations are not buying it.  They question the “saving resources” claim and held a rally with signs that said, “Not clear, not open.”

This latest incident calls into question the paper's editorial independence.  It also calls attention to the greater question: is Hong Kong’s media once again under threat?


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