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Showing posts from June, 2012

One City, Two Worlds 一個香港, 兩個世界

I woke up early this morning and remembered a small incident that took place a year ago.


It was 6:45 on a Friday evening, and the weekend traffic had already built up feverishly in Central. I got in line at the minibus stop outside the McDonalds on Connaught Road, eager to get home. People and vehicles were moving in every direction. Patience was in short supply. A half-dozen double-deckers all tried to dock at the same time, unable to outmaneuver each other and unwilling to give in. Car horns began to blare from behind, while frustrated passengers pointed at different vehicles to assign blame. It was a complete chaos. Then suddenly, a mounted traffic policeman came out of nowhere, blue lights flashing authoritatively on the side of his white motorcycle. I thought to myself: this is why I love Hong Kong. Barely two minutes into a traffic situation, the efficient Hong Kong police arrived on the scene, a white knight to the rescue. I was impressed.
The policeman turned off the siren on hi…

Three Blind Mice 三隻盲鼠

    Three blind mice, three blind mice           See how they run, see how they run      They all ran after the farmer's wife           Who cut off their tails with a carving knife      Did you ever see such a sight in your life           As three blind mice
       - English nursery rhyme

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Chen Guangcheng (陳光誠) is a blind man. He is also a self-taught lawyer.
Chen comes from a small village in southern Shandong (山東). He made a name for himself as a “barefoot lawyer” helping peasants and the disabled take on tax authorities and big businesses. Although he deals with a broad range of social issues, Chen focuses on women subject to forced abortions and sterilizations. China’s four-decade-old one child policy has been a financial bonanza for local governments across the country. Women pregnant with a second child must pay a fine, which is bureaucratic speak for hush money. Those who can’t afford the bribe will “consent” to an unwanted medica…