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Chinese Civilization and its Discontents
Written by , Tuesday, 14 Jul, 2009 – 16:34 | No Comment
The Kashgar sheep market, part of a vanishing Central Asian culture.  Photos by Ben Paarmann (CC-usage).

The Kashgar sheep market, part of a vanishing Central Asian culture. Photos by Ben Paarmann (CC-usage).

Editor’s note: In light of the recent troubles in Urumqi, neweurasia is re-publishing this travel meditation by Ben Paarmann, originally published in 2004 @ Thinking-East.net (ENG).  The original comments have been included, as well.  Check out all of Ben’s photos @ his Flickr account, and make sure to check out Registan.net’s Xinjiang coverage (ENG).

China is on everyone’s mind, clearly as the “waking giant”, foremost in economic terms. In a dizzyingly short span of time, the ancient cities of  Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming are transforming into booming modern megalopolises.  Intrepid Western travelers who have dared to trek out from the Chinese coast into the interior often return with similar descriptions of other cities—remoter settlements, rarely heard-of to the Western ear and sometimes even to the Chinese ear; yet, like the great eastern Chinese cities, hurtling toward a new industrial-entrepreneurial dawn.

A journalist friend of mine recently zigzagged the country from Beijing to Tibet by bike. In his reports he wrote of cities with three million inhabitants, twelve-lane highways, and names none of us in Germany had heard before. Truth be told, I didn’t expect anything else when this August, I set foot into China. I crossed the border from remote Kyrgyzstan, entering into Xinjiang, China’s westernmost province. From a bumpy dirt track I switched to a newly paved highway, also swapping a rickety Lada Niva for a brand new Foton air-conditioned 4WD. This was the first indication that I had left behind the former realm of Soviet Communism for the “liberalized” Communism of China.

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Skies in Almaty
Written by , Tuesday, 14 Jul, 2009 – 7:46 | 7 Comments

Translation of Jackara’s post

Sky in Almaty – despite smog – is very beautiful and unusual, and sometimes scary. Out of town it gets even more fantastic and mystical.

Небо
Sky near the Molodejnaya mountain.

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Riots in Urumqi
Written by , Tuesday, 7 Jul, 2009 – 8:20 | 3 Comments

Translation of Adam’s post, photos by Flickr users Keirn and Remko Tanis (CC-usage), video by YouTube user 0ETAA0 (CC-usage).

Mass ethnic riots have taken place in Chinese Xinjiang Uighur Autonomour Region (XUAR). 156 people have been killed and 1080 wounded in Urumqi during massacre. Hundreds of vehicles and stores were burnt, and dozens of dwelling houses damaged. The government accuses foreign terrorists of inflicting the riots, and nearly 1,500 people have been already arrested. All communications and access to XUAR are blocked. Read the full story »

Walking in Almaty
Written by , Wednesday, 1 Jul, 2009 – 6:20 | 2 Comments

(с) ehot

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“Fight Piracy!” Action performed by Kyrgyz State Patent Service in Bishkek
Written by , Saturday, 20 Jun, 2009 – 21:20 | One Comment

anti-pirate_action-049-570

On Friday June 19, 2009, at the «old square» in Bishkek was held on action to protect the copyright and against piracy. The main spectacle was the destruction of counterfeit products.

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Traditional japanese folk music concert in Bishkek
Written by , Thursday, 18 Jun, 2009 – 17:54 | 3 Comments

Traditional japanese folk music concert in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Photo by Samat S@M Barataliev

The traditional japanese folk music concert was yesterday in Bishkek at the Theater of Opera and Ballet.
It was organized by the Japanese embassy in Kyrgyzstan. The group’s name is “Tsuru to Kame” on japanese it means “The Turtle And The Crane”.

As reported at the site gde.kg, the japanese musicians are planning to conduct master-class for students of local music schools in the Kyrgyz National Conservatory.

Traditional japanese folk music concert in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Photo by Samat S@M Barataliev

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SCO: Council of Heads of State (members + observers), w. video of Medvedev
Written by , Tuesday, 16 Jun, 2009 – 13:58 | No Comment

Russian President Dimitry Medvedev speaks. Sorry about the lopsided video, I didn’t realize it when I was filming!

edwin_pressconf

Looking rather lonely up there....

Looking rather lonely up there....

Below are photos from the Council of Heads of States, which involved only SCO member countries, and the enormous, historical meeting between both member and observer countries.  Again, sorry for the lousy quality!

Medvedev and Nazarbayev shake hands.

Medvedev and Nazarbayev shake hands.

Presidents getting ready for the SCO Heads of State Council meeting

Presidents getting ready for the SCO Heads of State Council meeting

Medvedev,Karzai and Zardari talks about regional security through a trilateral format, a first for the SCO

Medvedev,Karzai and Zardari talks about regional security through a trilateral format, a first for the SCO

Head of States of SCO and the Observer States. Again a first for the SCO

Head of States of SCO and the Observer States. Again a first for the SCO

Medvedev looking a little, well, constipated...

Medvedev looking uncomfortable...

SCO: Karzai depressurizes his airplane with flag ;)
Written by , Tuesday, 16 Jun, 2009 – 12:54 | No Comment

The Afghans are really into their national symbol: that is their flag flying out of the pilot's window!!  I hope they didn't have the window open during the whole flight from Afghanistan.

The Afghans are really into their national symbol: that is their flag flying out of the pilot's window!! I hope they didn't have the window open during the whole flight from Afghanistan.

Exotic Football in Kyrgyzstan
Written by , Tuesday, 16 Jun, 2009 – 12:10 | No Comment

There were the semi-finals of the 2009 AFC President’s Cup past week in Bishkek. The two-time champions “Dordoi-Dynamo” hosted the Group C games, which also includes such exotic countries as Bhutan’s Yeedzin FC, Myanmar’s Kanbawza and Cambodian outfit Phnom Penh Crown FC. Our football team lost the Cup last year to the Tajik team “Regar-TadAZ”. Anyway, the matches of “Dordoi-Dynamo” were the most spectacular and professional. We won and we will take part in the final games of the 2009 AFC President’s Cup! Ole-ole-ole!
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Inside the SCO international press centre/Twittering the summit
Written by , Monday, 15 Jun, 2009 – 12:54 | One Comment

Below are photos of my new home-away-from home.  Also, follow my Twits @ neweurasia: http://twitter.com/neweurasia!

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