Ancient Chinese historian on the Roman empire


This 13 October 2019 video says about itself:

Ancient Chinese Historian Describes The Roman Empire // 3rd century AD “Weilüe” // Primary Source

“The ruler of Da Qin is not permanent. When disasters result from unusual phenomena, they unceremoniously replace him, installing a virtuous man as king, and release the old king, who does not dare show resentment…”

Here we have the words of the early third-century Chinese historian Yu Huan, who lived during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. Though he never left China, he collected large amounts of information on the countries to the West, chief among them the Roman Empire.

Enormous thanks to John E. Hill for kindly allowing us to use his translation, and for tips on the possible locations mentioned and correct pronunciation. There is still some debate on some of the places mentioned in the text, so please enjoy debating further about it!

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Bezos’ Washington Post promotes anti-Chinese American xenophobia


This Match 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

The Chinese students fighting racism – BBC News

Last month Chinese students at Columbia University in New York City were targeted by racist vandals who ripped the name tags bearing their Chinese names off dorm doors. So they made a video about what their Chinese name means to them. They explain how it went viral. Filmed by Max Toomey and edited by Joshua Lim.

By Andre Damon in the USA:

Washington Post pushes xenophobic campaign against Chinese-Americans

10 September 2019

On Saturday, the Washington Post published an editorial giving its stamp of approval to a report by the Hoover Institution arguing that Chinese nationals and ethnically Chinese Americans potentially pose a national security threat to the United States.

The Hoover Institution declares that “it should no longer be acceptable that scholars, journalists, diplomats, and public officials from the People’s Republic of China be afforded unfettered access to American society.”

The Post’s endorsement of this xenophobic demand comes in the form of an editorial demanding greater restrictions on visas to Chinese journalists wishing to enter and work in the United States. The editorial declares, “For many years, U.S. policy was guided by the logic that it is best to remain open, to showcase a commitment to values and principle.”

But now, the Post endorses the argument put forward by the Hoover Institution that, in response to Chinese limits on the freedom of the press, “the US State Department should respond in kind by restricting visas and access for Chinese journalists in the United States.”

The report calls for “reciprocal” limitations to be put on the actions of Chinese nationals in the United States: that is, for every curtailment of democratic rights in China nominally targeted against Americans, a reciprocal measure should be taken against Chinese nationals.

But given the severe restrictions on the freedom of expression inintoa, including massive internet censorship, this is an argument for nothing less than importing these very policies into the United States, and targeting them on the basis of race.

The report, authored by Hoover instruction fellow Larry Diamond and Orville Schell, the director of the Center on US-China Relations, declares that the Chinese government sees “the whole worldwide Chinese diaspora” as “overseas compatriots”, owing a measure of loyalty to “the Chinese Motherland”, in what the report calls “racial targeting”.

The report declares, “Officials from Beijing have stated clearly that they do not view overseas Chinese as simply citizens of foreign countries”, but rather as “overseas compatriots” who have both historical connections and responsibilities as “sons and daughters of the Yellow Emperor.”

In response to this supposed threat by the “sons and daughters of the Yellow Emperor,” the report calls for “tit-for-tat retaliation”. It demands that “all American institutions—governmental and nongovernmental—that deal with Chinese actors should review their oversight and governance practices and codify and exemplify best standards of practice and due diligence.”

Given that the definition of “Chinese actors” is, according to the report itself, racial, the implications of these statements are sweeping. Every institution, from schools to theaters, must be on the watch for the supposed dangers posed by Chinese nationals and Chinese-Americans.

The Hoover Institution report argues that China is engaged in a “discourse war” through “its surging media presence, the growing number of visits and exchanges of all kinds, the expansion of philanthropic activities.”

In the distorted view of the report’s authors, all cultural, and intellectual exchange between the United States and its largest trading partner is a means of foreign “subversion”.

The authors of the report praise the direction taken by US policy on China, having “a series of new initiatives… issuing forth from both the administration and Congress, suggesting a rapidly changing landscape for US-China relations.”

This “tidal shift now emanated not from Congress alone—where it had strong bipartisan support—but also from the White House and National Security Council, the Pentagon, the Office of the US Trade Representative, the Department of the Treasury, and even the Department of State.”

The report gloats, “As sentiment shifted away from hopes of finding common ways to collaborate,” a spate of new US policy initiatives have ensured that “Chinese influence on Capitol Hill has reached a low point.”

The report praises actions placing restrictions on Chinese Americans, including reductions in the duration of student visas put in place by the Trump administration last year.

The Washington Post, owned by American retail oligarch Jeff Bezos, who operates a network of fulfillment centers notorious for their exploitative conditions, has, over the past two years shifted to an increasingly anti-Chinese position, arguing that the interests of American corporations like Amazon are best served not by cooperation with, but struggle against, their Chinese competitors.

In this, the Post has paralleled the shift in opinion within the Democratic Party and its quasi-affiliated news outlets, including the New York Times, which have largely embraced the anti-China platform pioneered by fascist ideologue Steve Bannon as head of Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

In recent months, the Trump administration has massively intensified its trade war with China, and has withdrawn from the INF nuclear treaty in order escalate its military buildup against China.

The attitude of the Times was summed up in a headline by columnist Roger Cohen: “Trump Has China Policy About Right.”

America has a long and dirty history of ethnic discrimination against its Chinese minority, which was among the most exploited sections of its working class. It is no surprise that, in adopting Bannon’s anti-Chinese policy, the Post is increasingly open to the racist subtext of his fascistic politics.

Newly-elected Liberal Party member of parliament, Gladys Liu, is the latest victim of the McCarthyite witch-hunt against all those in the establishment who are not considered fully supportive of Australia’s alignment with the US-led confrontation with China. In a vicious interview on Sky News on September 10, Liu was asked by right-wing commentator Andrew Bolt: “Are you a spokesman [sic] for the Chinese communist regime in Australia?”: here.

Jeff Bezos’ Whole Foods slashes medical benefits for nearly 2,000 part-time workers: here.

23 new plant species discovered in China


This 2008 video says about itself:

China’s Amazing Flora | National Geographic

From deserts to lush tropical forests, one of China’s richest treasures is its plant life. Join leading botanist and NG Research and Exploration chairman Peter Raven on a tour of China’s regional flora.

From ScienceDaily:

Plant diversity and endemism in China: Unreachable locations and diverse microclimates

August 29, 2019

A new issue of the scholarly, open-access and peer-reviewed journal PhytoKeys focuses on the Chinese biodiversity hotspots and their substantial role in understanding the country’s unique flora. The special issue embarks on a treasure hunt into China’s biodiversity hotspots, including the descriptions of 23 species previously unknown to science and new insights into the ecological diversity of ferns based on their DNA sequences.

In China, biodiversity-rich landscapes vary from the dry Northwest region, through the surrounded by massive mountain ranges of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, to the tropical and subtropical southern China. The combination of remote and hard to reach mountain areas and diverse microclimates promises high levels of endemism.

“With extended collaboration among Chinese scientists and coordination of networks on plant conservation and taxonomy across China, we synthesize a special issue entitled “Revealing the plant diversity in China’s biodiversity hotspots”, to present the latest findings by Chinese botanists, and to update knowledge of the flora for China and adjacent countries,” explained De-Zhu Li, professor of botany at Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in the editorial.

Among the newly described species, four new members of the African violet family were found from a subtropical forest in Yunnan province in southern China, discovered by researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS and their collaborators. Half of them were found only from a sole population and require further botanical examinations to deploy the conservation priorities, remark the scientists.

In another paper, scientists Yun-Feng Huang and Li-Na Dong and Wei-Bin Xu, representatives of Guangxi Institute of Botany, revealed the discovery of a new species from the primrose family. Found nowhere outside the limestone areas in Liucheng county (Guangxi, China), this rare plant species is currently facing serious threats of extinction because of the fragility and sensitivity of its habitat to the environmental changes associated with the rapid economic development of China.

Another team from the Guizhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and KIB describes a new representative of the parachute flowers. Ceropegia jinshaensis, characterized by the shape and size of its leaves and flowers.

“More conservation efforts are needed in this region to counteract the increasing anthropogenic disturbance and destruction,” state the leading authors from KIB, who discovered a new species of orchid in the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot.

The special issue features the description of additional two orchid species, discovered in Motuo, located at the Himalayan border between China, Myanmar and India. The region is well known for its vertical vegetation system, varying from tropical forest to permanent glaciers. Ji-Dong Ya and Cheng Liu from the KIB and Xiao-Hua Jin from the Institute of Botany, CAS underline that the difficult access to the area allows the thriving and diversification of plants.

Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys in cold climate


This 17 June 2019 video says about itself:

How Snub-Nosed Monkeys Adapted to Extreme Cold

Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys have several adaptations to deal with the cold: from upturned noses that protect them from frostbite, to special blood vessels that help them increase their oxygen uptake.

Endangered Chinese giant salamander saved


This video is about endangered wild Chinese giant salamanders found near a river in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of southwest China’s Sichuan province on May 17, 2019.

One of the giant salamanders was stuck in a crevice. Police and villagers managed to save and free it.

White giant panda discovery in Sichuan, China


This January 2018 video is called Panda albino. However, this is not a real albino, as part of its fur is brown, not white; and its eyes are not red.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Completely white panda found in China

In China, conservationists have found a completely white panda. The characteristic black spots of its peers are missing.

The animal was caught in mid-April by a wildlife camera in a nature reserve in Sichuan province; where there are several nature reserves for the animal species. In the past, brown specimens have sometimes been found.

This 2017 video is about Qizai, the only brown panda in captivity.

Because the photo shows that the animal has red eyes, researchers think it is a unique albino specimen. Carriers of that genetic disorder have white fur and red eyes due to a lack of melanin pigment.

Extra cameras

According to the manager of the reserve, this is a young panda, one or two years old. The animal is in good health given its constant pace. The sex could not be determined based on the camera images.

The reserve will set up additional camera traps in the area to monitor the animal and to establish whether it has contact with other individuals in the area.