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This category contains 182 posts

No Chinese ‘Kung Fu’ in Hong Kong riot


Yes, although Hong Kong has been famous for its ‘kung fu’ movies for decades, the scene of ‘one defeats five or six’ was nowhere to be found in its infamous eight-hour long riot on Feb 8/9 overnight local time. What was really taking place there was simply arbitrary and brutal combats with fists, metal bars, … Continue reading

Is Chinese history only 5,000 years? Legends say 50,000 years!


If you ask a Chinese person about the length of Chinese history, it is easy for them to tell you we have 5,000 years history. But I suspect this easy answer is because so many historical materials were lost in the past 2,200 years since “Burning and Burying” (焚书坑儒, Fen Shu Keng Ru) in Qin … Continue reading

China: Is the absence of an emperor proof of the existence of a republic?


On 12 February 1912, the Xinhai Revolution, or the Hsin-hai Revolution, also known as the Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, culminated with the overthrow of the Empress Dowager Longyu and the infant Emperor Puyi that marked the end of over 2,000 years of imperial rule and the beginning of China’s so-called republican era. … Continue reading

China’s Admiral Cheng Ho


  Almost all children around the world learn about Christopher Columbus, and how, as the popular poem starts, “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”, and how Columbus reached the Americas in October of 1492. They also learn that he sailed with three ships: the Nina (“Girl”), the Pinta (“Pint”), and the Santa … Continue reading

July 21 1553 China’s warrior monks meet Japan’s dwarf pirates


On July 21st 1553, 120 Buddhist temple monks met an approximately equal number of “Japanese pirates” in battle. The so-called Japanese pirates, wakou or woku, were actually a confederation of Japanese, Chinese, and even some Portuguese citizens who banded together. (The pejorative term wakou literally means “dwarf pirates.”) They raided China during the Ming Dynasty … Continue reading

June 25 1950 North Korea invades South Korea


The two introductory paragraphs from an article I posted last April, titled Is the 1950 Korea Mess Relevant to the New Korean Mess are provided below: The North Korean invasion of South Korea began on June 25, 1950 when North Korean troops — many of them battle-hardened veterans of Mao’s fights against Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists — crossed the … Continue reading

June 24 1989: China ousts Zhao Ziyang


On June 24 1989, a Saturday, Zhao Ziyang was formally ousted as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party weeks after voicing sympathy for student demonstrators at Tiananmen Square. Jiang Zemin replaced him, and Zhao spent the rest of his life under house arrest. His removal from power was “effectively a coup,” according to American … Continue reading

The ‘Christopher Columbus of China’ may have visited Kenya


An explorer from medieval China may have visited an island off the coast of Kenya, archaeologists say. A joint expedition by The Field Museum and the University of Illinois at Chicago unearthed a 15th-century Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda, according to a Field Museum press release. Starting around 200 A.D., Manda was a trading hub and … Continue reading

Chinese heroes and heroines – a few bad men?


Chinese culture would have us believe that many of its heroes and heroines were either mightily good or extremely evil. The truth is somewhere between. Confucius, the old master, is quite clear about how to tell good people from the bad. Gratitude, honesty, trustworthiness and loyalty are among the Eight Principles of People, the good … Continue reading

December 19 1984 Britain and China sign Hong Kong return agreement


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On December 19th 1984, in the Hall of the People in Beijing, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed an accord committing Britain to give Hong Kong back to China in 1997. In return, China incorporated terms pledging a 50 year continuation of Britain’s…

October 18 1860 Peking’s Summer Palace destroyed


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
Simulated picture of the Old Summer Palace before it burned down On October 18th 1860, British troops occupying Peking, China, looted and then burnt the Yuanmingyuan, the fabulous summer residence built by the Manchu emperors in the 18th century. China’s Qing leadership surrendered to the Franco-British expeditionary force…

October 16 1934 “The Long March” begins in China’s southwest


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On October 16th 1934, the embattled Chinese Communists broke through Nationalist enemy lines and began an epic flight from their encircled headquarters in southwest China. Known as Ch’ang Cheng, the “Long March“, the retreat lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles, nearly twice the distance from New York…

October 5 1989 Dalai Lama wins Nobel Peace Prize


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On October 5th 1989, the Dalai Lama, the exiled religious and political leader of Tibet, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his nonviolent campaign to end the Chinese domination of Tibet. The 14th Dalai Lama was born as Tenzin Gyatso in Tsinghai Province, China, in…

October 1 1949 Mao Zedong proclaims People’s Republic of China


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
Mao Zedong proclaims People’s Republic of China On October 1st 1949, naming himself head of state, communist revolutionary Mao Zedong officially proclaimed the existence of the People’s Republic of China; Zhou Enlai was named premier. The proclamation was the climax of years of battle between Mao’s communist forces…

September 21 1949 Mao Zedong outlines the new Chinese government


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On September 21st 1949, at the opening of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Peking, Mao Zedong announced that the new Chinese government would be “under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.” The September 1949 conference in Peking was both a celebration of the communist…

September 9 1976 Mao Zedong dies


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On September 9th 1976, Chinese revolutionary and statesman Mao Zedong, who had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other health problems, died in Beijing at the age of 82. The Communist leader and founder of the People’s Republic of China is considered one of the most influential figures…

August 19 1931 Yangtze River at it’s peak in China; over 3 million die


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On August 19th 1931, the Yangtze River in China was causing chaos, having peaked the previous day, during a horrible flood that killed 3.7 million people directly and indirectly over the next several months. This was perhaps the worst natural disaster of the 20th century. The Yangtze River…

August 18 1227 Genghis Khan dies


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
Genghis Khan Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who forged an empire stretching from the east coast of China west to the Aral Sea, died in camp during a campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia. The great Khan, who was over 60 and in failing health, may…

July 28 1976 Worst modern earthquake hits Tangshan, China


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On July 28th 1976, at 3:42 a.m., an earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 magnitude on the Richter scale flattened Tangshan, a Chinese industrial city with a population of about one million people. As almost everyone was asleep in their beds, instead of outside in the relative safety…

July 14 1963 Rupture between USSR and China grows worse


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On June 14th 1963, according to a public statement made by the Chinese government, a much more militant and aggressive policy was needed in order to spread the communist revolution worldwide. There could be no “peaceful coexistence” with the forces of capitalism, and the statement chided the Russians…

July 1 1997 Hong Kong returned to China


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
Tung Chee Hwa and Jiang Zemin at the 1997 handover On July 1st 1997, at midnight, Hong Kong reverted back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.…

June 20 1900 Boxer Rebellion begins in China


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On June 20th 1900, in response to widespread foreign encroachment upon China‘s national affairs, Chinese nationalists launched the so-called Boxer Rebellion in Peking. Calling themselves I Ho Ch’uan, or “the Righteous and Harmonious Fists,” the nationalists occupied Peking, killed several Westerners, including German ambassador Baron von Ketteler, and…

June 4 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre takes place


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On June 4th 1989, Chinese troops stormed through Tiananmen Square in the centre of Beijing, killing and arresting thousands of pro-democracy protesters. The brutal Chinese government assault on the protesters shocked the West and brought denunciations and sanctions from the United States. In May 1989, nearly a million…

May 25 1977 Chinese government removes ban on Shakespeare


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
  On May 25th 1977, a new sign of political liberalisation appeared in China, when the communist government lifted its decade-old ban on the writings of William Shakespeare. The action by the Chinese government was additional evidence that the Cultural Revolution was over. In 1966, Mao Tse-Tung, the…

May 10 1990 China releases Tiananmen Square prisoners


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On May 10th 1990, the government of the People’s Republic of China announced that it was releasing 211 people arrested during the massive protests held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in June 1989. Most observers viewed the prisoner release as an attempt by the communist government of China…

April 21 1989 Tiananmen Square Protest Begins In China


Originally posted on Craig Hill Training Services:
On April 21st 1989, about 100,000 students gathered at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to commemorate Hu Yaobang, and voice their discontent with China’s authoritative communist government. Hu, the deposed, reform-minded leader of the Chinese Communist Party, had died six days earlier. The next day, an official memorial service for Hu…

April 6 1974 ABBA Wins Eurovision Contest


On April 6th 1974, in Brighton, England, at the 19th Eurovision Song Contest, the tiny nation of Luxembourg was devastated when it failed to secure a third consecutive win at the pan-European musical event. The judges did the rest of the world a favour, however, by selecting the Swedish entry as the winner instead. The … Continue reading

April 5 1955 Winston Churchill Resigns As British Prime Minister


On April 5th 1955, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill retired as prime minister of Great Britain. The British leader, who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is widely regarded as one of the greatest war time leaders of the 20th century. Remembered as a statesman and orator, Churchill … Continue reading

April 4 1968 Martin Luther King Jr Assassinated


On April 4th 1968, just after 6 pm, Martin Luther King Jr was standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, when he was fatally shot. The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner. A bullet struck him … Continue reading

April 3 1942 The Fall Of Bataan Begins


On April 3rd 1942, the Japanese infantry staged a major offensive against Allied troops in Bataan, the peninsula guarding Manila Bay of the Philippine Islands. The invasion of the Japanese 14th Army, which began in December 1941 and was led by General Masaharu Homma, had already forced General Douglas MacArthur’s troops from Manila, the Philippine … Continue reading

April 2 2005 Death Of Pope John Paul II


On April 2nd 2005, Pope John Paul II, leader of the Catholic Church, and history’s second longest ruling Pope, died at the age of 84. John Paul II was the most widely travelled Pope, and the first non-Italian to hold the position since 1523. Acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th … Continue reading

April 1 1984 Marvin Gaye Killed By Father


On April 1st 1984, the day before his 45th birthday, soul singer Marvin Gaye’s life came to a tragic end, when he was shot and killed by his own father after a violent physical fight. At the peak of his career, Marvin Gaye was the Prince of Motown; the soulful voice behind hits as wide-ranging … Continue reading

March 31 1959 Dalai Lama Exile Begins


On March 31st 1959, the Dalai Lama fled the Chinese suppression of a national uprising in Tibet, and crossed the border into India, where he was granted political asylum. Born as Tensin Gyatso on 6th July 1935 in Taktser, China, he was designated the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940, a position that eventually made him … Continue reading

March 30 1981 President Reagan Shot


On March 30th 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr. The president had just finished addressing a labour meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of … Continue reading

March 29 2009 General Motors CEO Ousted By White House


On March 29, 2009, US President Obama and his administration requested and received the resignation of Rick Wagoner, the chairman and chief executive of troubled auto giant General Motors (GM). Wagoner spent more than 8 years in the top job at GM, during which the company lost billions of dollars. In 2008, GM was surpassed … Continue reading

March 28 1939 Civil War Ends In Spain


On March 28th 1939, the Spanish Civil War came to an end after three years of bloody fighting, when the Republican defenders of Madrid raised the white flag over the city. In 1931, Spanish King Alfonso XIII approved elections to decide the government of Spain, and voters overwhelmingly chose to abolish the monarchy in favour … Continue reading

March 27 1977 Two Jumbos Collide In Canary Islands


On March 27th 1977, on the runway at a Canary Islands airport, two 747 jumbo jets crashed into each other,  killing 583 passengers and crew members. The crash still stands as the worst in aviation history. The airport was the Los Rodeos Airport on Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The Boeing 747s were both charter jets … Continue reading

March 26 1953 Jonas Salk Announces Polio Vaccine


On March 26th 1953, American medical researcher Dr Jonas Salk made public that a vaccine he had developed for poliomyelitis had been successfully tested. The crippling disease had reached epidem9ic proportions in 1952, with 58,000 new cases reported in the Unites States, of which over 3,000 had died. The disease is also called “infant paralysis” … Continue reading

March 25 1932 Scottsboro Case Verdict Announced


On March 25th 1932, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Powell v. Alabama. The case arose out of the infamous Scottsboro case. Nine young black men were arrested and accused of raping two white women on train in Alabama. The boys were fortunate to barely escaped a lynch mob sent … Continue reading

March 24 1958 Elvis Presley Inducted Into Army


On March 24th 1958, after several deferments, Elvis Aaron Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was finally inducted into the United States Army. In effect, he started the day as the King, but ended it as a lowly army private. After turning 18 on January 8, 1953, he fulfilled his patriotic duty and legal … Continue reading

March 23 1998 Titanic Wins 11 Oscars


On March 23rd 1998, as James Cameron took the stage to accept his Academy Award for Best Director, it was clear that the blockbuster film Titanic was dominating the Oscars. Titanic had already tied with 1950’s All About Eve for the record of most Oscar nominations, at 14. By the end of the night, it … Continue reading

March 22 1947 Novelist James Patterson Born


On March 22nd 1947, one of the world’s top-selling novelists, James Patterson, was born. Best known for his thrillers, Patterson, the creator of the Alex Cross detective series and the Women’s Murder Club series, among others, has written books in a variety of genres, from historical fiction to young adult. His novels have sold an … Continue reading

March 21 1963 Alcatraz Closes


On March 21st 1963, Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closed down and transferred all it’s prisoners to other institutions, according to official government sources. At it’s peak period of use in the 1950s, “The Rock,” or “America’s Devil Island” housed over 200 inmates at the maximum-security facility. Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons … Continue reading

March 20 1852 Uncle Tom's Cabin Published


On March 20th 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was published. Within three months, the novel had sold 300,000 copies and was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” … Continue reading

March 19 1953 Cecil B DeMille Wins His First And Only Oscar


On March 19th 1953, Cecil B. DeMille won the only Academy Award of his career. The legendary film maker won with The Greatest Show on Earth, taking home the Oscar for Best Picture. The big-budget film extravaganza about circus life starred Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton, and Cornel Wilde. Born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, in 1881, DeMille … Continue reading

March 18 1950 Taiwan Nationalists Invade Mainland China


On March 18th 1950, military forces of the Nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan made a surprise invasion of the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC),  and captured the mainland town of Sungmen. Because the United States supported the attack, it resulted in even deeper tensions and ill feeling between the U.S. and the PRC. In … Continue reading

March 17 461 Saint Patrick Dies


On March 17th 461, Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland. Much of what is known about Patrick’s legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Born in Great Britain, probably in Scotland, to a rich Christian family of Roman citizenship, Patrick … Continue reading

March 16 2005 Robert Blake Acquitted of Murdering Wife


On March 16th 2005, a Los Angeles Superior Court acquitted Robert Blake of the murder of his younger wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, after a three month trial. Blake had previously won fame for his performance as a cop in the 70s TV series Baretta, but his performance as a murderer in the real life court … Continue reading

March 15 44 BCE The Ides of March and Julius Caesar Murdered


On March 15th 44 BCE, Julius Caesar, the “dictator for life” of the Roman Empire, was murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey’s Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar’s own protege, Marcus Brutus. Caesar planned to leave Rome to fight in … Continue reading

March 14 1879 Albert Einstein Born


On March 14th 1879, Albert Einstein was born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man’s view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and ultimately, the atomic bomb. After a childhood in Germany … Continue reading

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