Chinasage Diary

Your daily snippet of information about China. Our diary has a daily fact, proverb and a reminder of upcoming festivals and holidays in China.
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Thu 25th Apr

Democratic Election

The members of the National People's Congress are democratically elected. Local elections choose provincial representatives that vote for those on the NPC. Only Communist party members can stand for election. The NPC votes on key areas of policy but rarely if ever disputes the guidance given to it by the SCP.
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On this day

1644 Ming dynasty ended 1644 (375 years ago)

Proverb

Xiaò lǐ cáng dāo [xiao li cang dao]
smile inside conceal knife
A dagger concealed in a smile
Malice concealed by apparent friendliness
Wed 24th Apr

Giant Panda

The emblematic Giant Panda is restricted to remote mountainous terrain in central Sichuan; Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. They are thinly spread over large areas and so unlikely to be seen in the wild. They slowly digest through 50 pounds [23 kgs] of bamboo each day. China now leases out pandas to foreign zoos for a cool $1 million a year. If a visiting panda happens to give birth, by contract the new cub belongs to China not the zoo.
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Proverb

Lì yù xūn xīn [li yu xun xin]
sharp desire fogs heart
Strong ambition veils true feeling
To be obsessed with the desire for success at the expense of happiness
Tue 23rd Apr

Giant Panda

The emblematic Giant Panda is restricted to remote mountainous terrain in central Sichuan; Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. They are thinly spread over large areas and so unlikely to be seen in the wild. They slowly digest through 50 pounds [23 kgs] of bamboo each day. China now leases out pandas to foreign zoos for a cool $1 million a year. If a visiting panda happens to give birth, by contract the new cub belongs to China not the zoo.
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Proverb

Ěr xīn [er mu yi xin]
ear eye one new
New sights and sounds
A change of place, everything fresh and new
Mon 22nd Apr

Britain's front door

You won't hear much from the guides about Shanghai's early history, they will say it was always an important Chinese city from ancient times. The truth is that China's second city, Shanghai, was essentially a British foundation. Soon after Britain won the first Opium War the British settlement was founded in 1843. It very rapidly developed and was known as 'Britain's front door'. Britain devolved power to the Shanghai International Settlement but British merchants were the dominant nationality. From 1760 with a population of 50,000 it grew to 5,000,000 by 1920.
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Proverb

背井
Lí xiāng bèi jǐng [li xiang bei jing]
leave village behind well
Leave one's own village
A stranger away from home
Sun 21st Apr

Macau

Macau has overtaken Las Vegas as the top city for gambling in the world. It has the largest casino anywhere. Rich Chinese visitors come to the semi-autonomous district for short breaks to spend time and money in the casinos and at the horse races.
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Proverb

wàn juǎn shū bù rú xíng wàn lǐ lù [du wan juan shu bu ru xing wan li lu]
read 10000 roll up book no like walk 10000 mile road
Reading ten thousand books is not the same as walking a thousand miles
Learn from practical experience not from books
Sat 20th Apr

Mercury magic

From ancient times the sulfide of mercury cinnabar has been considered magical. When heated liquid mercury is created and so it was a substance for transformation including mortal to immortal. Cinnabar was used to give the red color to the wax on seals used on paintings and documents.
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Proverb

乳臭
Rǔ chòu wèi gān [ru chou wei gan]
suckle smelly not yet made
Still suckling and in nappies. Still an infant. Young and inexperienced
Infantile and immature
Zhejiang, Hangzhou , West Lake, lake, pagoda
Autumn view of West Lake and Pagoda at Hangzhou, Zhejiang

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