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TinyLivingAccording to the U.S. house-and-home media, tiny house-living is trending big.  In Hong Kong, tiny homes have been the way of life for many for decades!  A population of 7.2 million people squeezed into 426 square miles.

However, things have reached a new (small) record in Hong Kong - a developer is planning to market spaces as homes on the island’s Happy Valley district that are not much bigger than shoeboxes!

The developer, Emperor International Holdings, plans to convert an existing 21-storey commercial building into 68 “apartments,” each at 61.4 square feet, except for four larger ones, measuring 121.6 square feet each.  However, the filing with the Building Department does mention that the 61.4 square feet excludes kitchen and bathroom space.  According to a Hong Kong valuation and consultant firm, even accounting for additional kitchen and bathroom space, the Emperor apartments “will still be the smallest flats in Hong Kong.”  (For comparison, the average cell at Hong Kong’s Stanley Prison is 81 square feet.)

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On a May 2015 morning, a scientist opened his front door in suburban Philadelphia and his life was turned completely upside down.

 

“It was so urgent, the pounding was so urgent that I run here to open the door without even being fully dressed,” recounted Xiaoxing Xi.  He was being interviewed by Bill Whitaker of CBS’ “60 Minutes” for a piece titled “Collateral Damage.

The segment aired on May 15, 2016, and addresses the U.S. government’s fight against economic espionage conducted by China to gain American trade secrets and intellectual property.  Xi, the then chair of the Temple University physics department, is the “collateral damage.”  

On opening his door that May morning, Xi was greeted with men in bulletproof vests with guns who handcuffed and arrested him on the spot.  The men were from the FBI.  He was accused of selling U.S. technology secrets to China.  In September 2015, the Department of Justice dropped all charges against him.  But damage to his career and finances were done.

Sad to say, Xi’s case is not an isolated incident: 

In October 2013, two Chinese scientists at Eli Lilly were arrested and jailed for passing proprietary information to a Chinese drug company.  Turned out the information was not proprietary after all and the charges were changed to wire fraud. 

 

By Rick King and Chang Wang, contributors

Editor’s Note:  Both Rick King and Chang Wang consider themselves lucky, and the luckiness is generational.  King, a “baby boomer” who was born in California and grew up in Massachusetts, believes overall, his generation is better off than his parents’ and his children’s; Wang, originally from Beijing, belongs to “Generation ’89” in China, even believes his generation is the luckiest in Chinese history since 1842. 

China Insight invites King and Wang to author a conversational style essay to compare the lives and the key characteristics of the “baby boomers” in the U.S. and the “Generation ’89” in China. 

The first of this four-part series defines who the boomer and Generation ’89 are in the U.S. and China respectively.   The subsequent parts will describe, contrast and compare the various economic and societal factors that affect and shape the two groups in their respective countries.

By Elaine Dunn

The local Chinese community under the direction and organization of the Minnesota Chinese Association (MCA) joined in a nationwide rally that took place on Feb. 20 in more than 40 other major U.S. cities in support of ex-NYPD Officer Peter Liang.  Liang was found guilty on Feb. 11 of second-degree manslaughter of Akai Gurley, a young, unarmed black male.  Nationwide rallies drew more than 1,000,000 participants and took place in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Raleigh, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. amongst others.  

The Minnesota rally took place at Saint Paul’s State Capitol Lower Mall.  Approximately 300 demonstrators, mostly Chinese Americans, waved American flags and carried a variety of signs that proclaimed “Justice for Liang, Justice for All!” “Justice-Yes, Politics No,” “No Scapegoat!” “Tragedy Not Crime!” "One Tragedy Two Victims.”  The local rally participants also signed a petition that will be sent to Brooklyn Judge Danny Chun, a fellow Asian American whom some in the Asian communities felt may “feel compelled to levy a harsh sentence so he can’t be accused of being soft on another Asian.”  

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

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