PRC Protests Swedish Human Rights Violation as Violent Reservationless Chinese Tourist is Evicted From Fully Booked Hotel by Swedish Police

Swedish touristsChinese press making a big human rights case out of three Chinese tourists who arrived a day earlier than their reservation, the hotel was full, they stayed in the lobby for hours, got violent, police called, at least one was carried out of the hotel by Swedish police. According to an eyewitness interviewed by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, the police tried to calm them down but then carried them out; but acted properly throughout. Now called a human rights violation by the PRC Embassy in Sweden d PRC media!

The September 15, 2018 story from Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest newspaper, is online with video.  One Chinese tourist screams “Save me!!”  救命啊!!

A passser-by filmed the incident but didn’t think it extraordinary until he read about it in the newspaper.  That is how Aftonbladet came to have the video on its website. The passer-by’s eyewitness account was at the hart of today’s story.  The eyewitness though the police handled the situation well.

Maybe the Chinese will have to kidnap more Swedish booksellers in revenge!  The kidnapping of a bookseller resident in Hong Kong who has Swedish citizenship is still a sore point in Sweden-China relations.

The Chinese Embassy Spokesperson’s remarks on the Brutal Abuse of Chinese Tourists by Swedish Police

Around midnight on 2 September, three Chinese tourists were brutally abused by the Swedish police. The Chinese Embassy in Sweden is deeply appalled and angered by what happened and strongly condemns the behavior of the Swedish police. The Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China have made solemn representations to the Swedish government respectively in Stockholm and Beijing, stressing that what the police had done severely endangered the life and violated the basic human rights of the Chinese citizens. We urged the Swedish government to conduct thorough and immediate investigation, and respond to the Chinese citizens’ requests for punishment, apology and compensation in time. We cannot understand why the Swedish side has not given us any feedback. We hope that the Swedish side will handle the case in accordance with law, and urge the Swedish side again to take immediate actions to protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Sweden.

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PRC College Grad Starting Salaries Continue Sharp Decline?

I saw the chart below showing sharply declining PRC college grad starting salaries featured in the article below on Professor Victor Shih’s Twitter feed @vshih2  and wondered if such a big drop in starting salaries could be true.    Some universities get special government support as part of the 985 Project “May 1998 Key School Project”  to support the development of world-class research universities in China or the Project 211 (first class in the twenty-first century apparently) that aimed to give special support to China’s top 100 universities.

Many more recent grads must be struggling to get by.  China is graduating more and more university grads and so perhaps their market value is declining, at least at first, until they can prove themselves with their individual performance on the job.  Difficult, even though consumer inflation in China is currently fairly low at about 2 percent annually. 

I added a few notes on the top of the chart so you can see the trend for yourself.

2018 PRC College Grad Avg Starting Salary Ranking

So I did a Google search (URL below) on the chart showing dramatic declines in starting salaries of PRC college students in 2015 and 2017 compared with 2013.

I found that the college grad starting salary and salary chart was reported on many PRC media outlets, including Sohu (see link above; Chinese text copied below)  but the story I found, which was carried on many PRC websites, didn’t point to what I would have guessed would be the big story — the continuing sharp decline in starting salaries for Chinese new college grads..

Seems hard to believe. Could there be some systemic change in the salary system such as increased withholding for taxes or health insurance?  

The same article is found on Sohu and many other PRC websites.  The author, not credited on the article, found a back-handed way to point out that starting salaries for college graduates continue to decline.   
Maybe this is too sensitive an issue to highlight especially give the Chinese Communist Party’s extreme nervousness about anything that could lead to social instability.    The Chinese media naturally does benefit from considerable Communist Party guidance since its role is to correctly guide public opinion.  I always recommend He Qinglian’s book on Chinese media control. 

Classic double-talk?  Or just staying positive?

The top ten universities include Shanghai Jiaotong University, University of International Business and Economics, Diplomatic Academy, Fudan University, Zhejiang University, Tongji University, Central University of Finance and Economics, etc. The salary levels of these 2015 graduates and 2013 graduates have greatly improved compared with 2017. 


The article on Sohu is dated August 27. 

2018大学毕业生薪酬排行榜 看看你给母校拖后腿了没!





























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Christian Church Standoff in Zhengzhou, China

What happened after the Zhengzhou, Henan authorities posted the Illegal Religious Meeting Violation Notice in Zhengzhou, China   that was translated in a previous post:

[English translation]

(Pray for Us News) Brothers and sisters throughout China, we are the Zhengzhou Gaoxin District Christian Dali Church. Our church at 11 AM on the morning of September 9 (just after Sunday services had concluded) , twenty people from the Zhengzhou Gaoxin District Wutong 梧桐) Street Committee Office together with the local police station and the District government leaders responsible for religious affairs forced their way into our church and designated the meeting of our church congregation as an “illegal meeting” and on the spot posted a notice to that effect.

Our entire congregation all rejected that argument and stated that our congregation and our place of worship were legal.

First, we continue to be believers and we will not cease to gather.

Second, our gathering is legal and is protected by the relevant state laws and regulations.

That group of twenty people left.

On the afternoon of September 9th, the Zhengzhou Gaoxin District Management Committee, personnel from the Zhengzhou City Religious Affairs Bureau, together with the local Wutong Street Committee Office together with one hundred urban management enforcement plainclothesmen, gathered at the base of our building. They had intended to break into our church and to destroy the furnishings in our church. However, the brothers and sisters discovered them in time and a large group of brothers and sisters hurried to the church. By the time it got dark, several hundred brothers and sisters had gathered at the church. Everybody prayed, chanted psalms, and guarded the church as more and more brothers and sisters hurried to the church from all directions.

At about 9 PM, brothers and sisters who had come later were blocked at the elevators by the plainclothesmen and were not able to enter the church. Meanwhile, the several hundred believers gathered in the church had locked the large church door to prevent the plainclothesmen from breaking in.

The standoff continued until 11 PM when those plainclothesmen (there were all big guys dressed in black plainclothes) realized that there was no way that they could get into the church and more and more brothers and sisters of the congregation kept coming. Therefore they gradually dispersed.

[Chinese text]


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PRC Religious Information Control Draft Regulations Released for Comment

Via Google Translate, lightly massaged.

The PRC State Council issued the following draft regulations with a request for comment.  The date the draft regulations may go into effect, apparently later this year, is not clear.

The draft regulations are very broad.  They apply to individual blogs and internet postings as well as to formal websites of religious organizations.   “The Internet religious information referred to in these Measures refers to the religious teachings disseminated by means of texts, pictures, audio and video, etc. through Internet sites, applications, forums, blogs, microblogs, public accounts, instant messaging tools, and live webcasts. Religious information, such as religious precepts, religious knowledge, religious culture, and religious activities.“

Internet Religious Information Management Measures

(Draft regulations for Comment)   China National Religious Affairs Administration

2018/09/10 10:09

Internet Religious Information Service Management Measures (Draft for Comment)

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 In order to regulate Internet religious information service activities and maintain religious harmony and social harmony, these Measures are formulated in accordance with the Laws and Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Cyber ​​Security, Internet Information Service Management Regulations, and Religious Affairs Regulations.

Article 2 These Measures are applicable to Internet religious information services within the territory of the People’s Republic of China.

The Internet religious information referred to in these Measures refers to the religious teachings disseminated by means of texts, pictures, audio and video, etc. through Internet sites, applications, forums, blogs, microblogs, public accounts, instant messaging tools, and live webcasts. Religious information, such as religious precepts, religious knowledge, religious culture, and religious activities.

The Internet religious information service referred to in these Measures refers to a legal person organization established by law in the People’s Republic of China, an unincorporated organization that publishes Internet religious information or provides an Internet religious information dissemination platform.

Article 3: Those engaging in Internet religious information services shall abide by the PRC Constitution, laws, regulations and rules, practice socialist core values, actively guide religions to adapt to socialist society, and safeguard national unity, national unity and social stability.

Article 4 The State supports the use of Internet religious information services to publicize the Chinese Communist Party’s  theories and principles and policies on religious matters, as well as laws, regulations and rules concerning religion, conduct religious academic research, and introduce religious knowledge.

Article 5 The management of Internet religious information services adheres to the principles of protecting lawfulness, stopping illegality, curbing extremes, resisting infiltration, and combating crime.

Article 6 The religious affairs departments shall supervise and manage the Internet religious information service according to law, and the network information departments, the competent telecommunications departments, the public security departments, and the state security organs shall be responsible for the relevant administrative work in accordance with the law within their respective functions and responsibilities.

The religious affairs department at or above the provincial level shall establish an Internet religious information service management coordination mechanism with the network information department, the telecommunications authority, the public security department, and the state security agency.

Chapter II Approval of Internet Religious Information Service

Article 7 To apply for Internet religious information services, the following conditions shall be met:

(1) The applicant is a legal person organization or an unincorporated organization established within the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The legal representative or principal responsible person of the applicant is a mainland resident of the People’s Republic of China;

(2) There are specialized information review personnel who are familiar with the national religious policies and regulations;

(3) having a sound Internet religious information service management system;

(4) having a sound information security management system and safe and controllable technical safeguard measures;

(5) having places, facilities and funds that match the services;

(6) The applicant and its legal representative or principal responsible person have no criminal record in the past three years and have not violated the national religious policies and regulations.

Overseas organizations or individuals and organizations established within the territory may not engage in Internet religious information services within the territory.

Article 8 To engage in Internet religious information services, an application shall be submitted to the local provincial religious affairs department, fill out the “Internet Religious Information Service Application Form”, and submit the following materials:

(1) Documents filed by the applicant according to law or registered for filing, and the identity card of the legal representative or principal responsible person;

(2) A description of the situation in which the religious information review personnel have professional competence;

(3) Internet religious information service management system, information security management system and technical safeguard measures;

(4) The places, facilities and funds used for engaging in religious information services on the Internet;

(5) The applicant and its legal representative or principal responsible person have no criminal record and no commitment to violate the national religious policies and regulations in the past three years;

(6) It is proposed to provide columns, function settings and domain name registration related materials for Internet religious information services.

If applying for the dissemination platform service, it shall also submit the rules and regulations for the management of the platform users, the model of the user agreement, and the handling mechanism for complaints and reports.

The Internet Religious Information Service Application Form and the User Agreement Model relate to the Internet religious information service content formulated by the State Administration of Religious Affairs.

National religious groups and their religious colleges engaged in Internet religious information services shall apply to the State Administration of Religious Affairs.

Article 9 The name of the Internet religious information service shall not appear in the words “China”, “China” or “National” except for the name of the applicant; “Buddha” shall not be used except for religious groups, religious institutions and places of religious activities. Religious names such as Taoism, “Islam”, “Catholic” and “Christian” may not use names such as religious groups, religious institutions, and places of religious activity.

Article 10 The religious affairs department at or above the provincial level shall make a decision on approval or disapproval within 20 days from the date of accepting the application. If an approval decision is made, the “Internet Religious Information Service Permit” shall be issued; if a decision on disapproval is made, the applicant shall be notified in writing and the reasons shall be explained.

The Internet Religious Information Service License is printed by the National Religious Affairs Bureau.

After obtaining the “Internet Religious Information Service License”, it shall also go through relevant procedures in accordance with the relevant provisions of the State Internet Information Service Management.

Article 11 When engaging in Internet religious information services, the number of Internet Religious Information Service Licenses shall be clearly indicated in the prominent position of the service platform.

Article 12 The changes in the name, service category and service items of the Internet Religious Information Service License shall be reported to the original issuing authority for examination and approval; if other matters are changed, the original issuing authority shall file the case in advance.

Article 13 If the Internet religious information service is terminated, it shall, within 30 days from the date of termination, go through the formalities of cancellation with the original issuing authority and go through the relevant formalities with the competent telecommunications authority.

Article 14 The Internet Religious Information Service License is valid for 3 years. If it is intended to continue to engage in Internet religious information services after the expiration of the validity period, it shall submit an application to the original issuing authority before the expiration of 30 days.

Chapter III Internet Religious Information Service Management

Article 15: Engage in Internet religious information services, may not contain the following acts or contents:

(1) using religion to incite subversion of state power, oppose the leadership of the Communist Party of China, overthrow the socialist system, split the country, undermine national unity and social stability, and promote extremism, terrorism, national separatism and religious fanaticism;

(2) attacking the state’s religious policies and regulations;

(3) destroying the harmonious coexistence between different religions, within the same religion, and between religious and non-religious citizens;

(4) Discriminating or insulting religious citizens or not cultivating citizens, and damaging the legitimate rights and interests of religious citizens or non-believing citizens;

(5) Violating the principle of self-management of religious independence in China;

(6) engaging in illegal religious activities or facilitating illegal religious activities;

(7) conducting commercial propaganda in the name of religion, distributing and distributing religious articles, religious internal informational publications and illegal publications;

(8) Using religion to damage the health of citizens, defrauding and coercing to obtain property;

(9) inciting minors to participate in religious activities;

(10) Using the system of justice, education, marriage, social management, etc., which is determined by religious laws to be obstructed by national laws;

(11) Falsifying religious personnel to carry out activities;

(12) Using religion to promote cults and feudal superstitions;

(13) Establishing religious organizations, setting up religious institutions and venues for religious activities, and developing believers;

(14) Violation of the Regulations on Religious Affairs and relevant laws, regulations and rules.

Article 16: Religious organizations, religious colleges, and places of religious activities that have obtained the Internet Religious Information Service Permit may be limited to lectures by religious faculty members on their self-built online platforms, explaining the teachings and regulations. It is conducive to social harmony, the progress of the times, healthy and civilized content, and guides religious citizens to believe in the right. Lectures on preaching implement real-name management.

No other organization or individual may preach or forward or link related content on the Internet.

Article 17 Religious colleges that have obtained the “Internet Religious Information Service Permit” may, and are limited to, carry out religious education training for religious college students and religious faculty members on their self-built network platforms, and implement real-name education and training. management.

No other organization or individual may conduct religious education training on the Internet.

Article 18 No organization or individual may broadcast or record on the Internet by means of words, pictures, audio and video, or other religious activities such as worshipping Buddha, burning incense, ordination, chanting, worship, mass, and baptism.

Article 19 No organization or individual may conduct fundraising on the Internet in the name of religion.

Charitable organizations initiated by religious organizations, religious colleges and religious venues to conduct charitable fundraising on the Internet shall comply with the relevant provisions of the Charity Law of the People’s Republic of China.

Article 20 Where an Internet religious information dissemination platform is provided, an agreement shall be signed with the registered users of the platform to verify and retain the true identity information of the users.

Article 21: Engaging in Internet religious information services shall strengthen the management of service content and communication platforms, and find that violations of laws and bad information are handled in violation of Articles 3, 15 and 16 of the present Measures. Articles, Articles 18, and Article 19 shall immediately take measures to stop transmission, eliminate such information, prevent information from spreading, preserve relevant records, and report to relevant departments.

Article 22 If the Internet Information Communication Platform fails to obtain the Internet Religious Information Service License, it shall strengthen the management of the registered users of the platform and prohibit the publication of religious information on its platform.

Article 23: Religious affairs departments at all levels shall strengthen the daily guidance, supervision and inspection of Internet religious information services, establish Internet religious information service violation files, letters of trust and interview systems, and accept Internet religious information services for violations of laws and regulations. Reporting, interpreting Internet religious information, and promptly transferring illegal and illegal leads to the network information department, telecommunications authorities, public security departments, and state security agencies.

Article 24 The network information department shall strengthen the management of the content of the Internet religious information service and dispose of the illegal and illegal Internet religious information according to law.

Article 25 The competent telecommunications authority shall strengthen the supervision of Internet access to religious information services, network access, network resources, etc., and cooperate with the handling of illegal and illegal Internet information services.

Article 26 Public security departments shall strengthen the supervision and management of the security of Internet information services in accordance with the law, and prevent and handle illegal and criminal activities in Internet religious information services.

Article 27: State security organs shall, in accordance with the law, prevent and deal with foreign institutions, organizations, individuals, and domestic institutions, organizations, individuals and foreign institutions, organizations, and individuals colluding with the use of religion on the Internet to endanger national security activities.

Chapter IV Legal Liability

Article 28 If the Internet religious information service is provided without permission, beyond the scope of the license, the license expires, or the service is no longer in compliance with the permit conditions, the religious affairs department at or above the provincial level shall give a warning and order to correct within a time limit; In conjunction with the telecommunications authorities, they shall order the termination of services and the closure of the website; if they constitute a crime, they shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law.

Article 29 If the Internet religious information service violates the relevant provisions of these Measures, the religious affairs department at or above the provincial level shall warn and order it to make corrections within a time limit; if it refuses to make corrections, it shall terminate its services and order with the network information department and the competent telecommunications authority. If the circumstances are serious, the website will be closed with the network department or the competent telecommunications department; if a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law.

Article 30 If a registered user of the platform disseminates illegal religious information, if the circumstances are serious, the religious affairs department at or above the provincial level shall order the Internet religious information dissemination platform provider to cancel the registered user account of the platform, and the public security department and other departments shall impose penalties according to law; Be held criminally responsible.

Article 31 Whoever violates these Measures and violates the “Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services” and the relevant national regulations on Internet news information services, Internet audio-visual program services, and network publishing services shall be accompanied by the religious affairs department at or above the provincial level. Departments, telecommunications authorities, radio, film and television authorities, publishing administrative departments, etc. shall be disposed of according to law.

Article 32: State service personnel who abuse their powers, neglect their duties, engage in malpractices for personal gains in the management of religious information services on the Internet shall be punished according to law; if they constitute a crime, they shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law.

Chapter V Supplementary Provisions

Article 33 Whoever engages in Internet religious information services before the implementation of these Measures shall go through the relevant formalities in accordance with the relevant provisions of these Measures within 6 months from the date of implementation of these Measures.

Article 34 These Measures shall be interpreted by the State Administration of Religious Affairs, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Security.

Article 35 These Measures shall come into force on the day of the month of 2018.



2018/09/10 10:09
















































































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Illegal Religious Meeting Violation Notice in Zhengzhou, China

Reverend Francis Liu on Twitter passed along a photo (see below) taken in September 9, 2018 posted by Chinese authorities aiming to close down an illegal religious meeting place in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, China’s most populous province.

English translation — see photo of Chinese text below

Illegal Activity Notice

On the morning of September 9, in Zhengzhou Gaoxin District on Changchun Road at Shenglongyouyi City’s section AB, block B, building 5, rooms 342, 343, 345, and 346, it was discovered that Wang Yanfeng and others were engaged in an illegal organized religious activity in an unapproved religious activities venue. Moreover, there was also encountered there the problem of preachers who got up to preach who had not been registered by the religious affairs departments in violation of articles 23 and 36 of the “Religious Affairs Regulations”.

In accordance with the principles of the local management regulations and the requirements of the three-level network and the two-level responsibility system in religious affairs work, Wang Yanfeng and the others are required to immediately halt their illegal religious activities.

[Seal of the Gaoxin District, Wutong Street Committee Office]

September 9, 2018

Controls on religious activities have been tightening recently in China.  The current campaign puts performance requirements on local government and government officials (called a responsibility system) that can put promotions in jeopardy if government objectives are not achieved.

A question answered about this system online in the Ask Baidu forum helps understand the Chinese Communist Party’s objectives.

What is the three-level network and the two-level responsibility system in religious affairs work?  什么是宗教工作三级网络两级责任

The county, the township and the village are the three level network.  The responsibility system is in effect at the township and village levels.

Oppose those outside China’s borders making used of religion in their infiltration purposes. Continually improve security and make people alert to prevent these activities from occurring. Strengthen inspections and investigations, adjust tactics as needed, and always be determined to maintain the initiative in the work of opposing those from outside China’s borders who would use religion for their infiltration purposes.


(1) “outside China’s borders” distinguishes the PRC interior from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.  Hong Kong and Macao have a high degree of autonomy and are not under as strict political control by the Communist Party as the rest of China.

(2)  PRC policies in religion apply a “Three Selfs Principles”  [see Wiki article] “The three principles of self-governance, self-support (i.e., financial independence from foreigners), and self-propagation (i.e., indigenous missionary work) were first articulated by Henry Venn, General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society from 1841 to 1873, and Rufus Anderson, foreign secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions“.

The PRC in the early 1950s combined all Protestant denominations into one officially recognized patriotic church while underground groupings of house churches were illegal — sometimes tolerated if not “too large” and sometimes persecuted. The Roman Catholics into another patriotic church theoretically not dependent upon Rome (although contact was often maintained through priests in Hong Kong, and Catholics continued to pray for “our Pope” as well as “our country’s leaders” during mass, and many of the “Patriotic Church” Catholic bishops are recognized by Rome). The underground Catholic church remains illegal.

(3)  Enforcement of religious affairs regulations vary considerably from place to place and from time to time.  Lately persecution of believers has been getting more determined, paralleling a tightening of media control and of Chinese human rights lawyers.  Some Chinese scholars predicted that Chinese society will become more turbulent as Chinese become wealthier, better educated and better traveled. Increasing crackdowns on religion and the media may reflect Chinese Communist Party fears that it is under threat.   See for example,  article “Pitfalls in the Next Stage of China’s Riseby Xue Li, Director of the International Strategy Research Office, World Politics and Economics Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

(4)  See also reports by ChinaAid “Authorities crackdown on churches in Henan” and the free online publication Religions & Christianity in Today’s China.


Zhengzhou Religious Affairs


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Declassified Chinese Diplomatic Documents from the 1950s and 1960s in the Wilson Center Digital Archive

Lately I have been translating some declassified Chinese diplomatic archives for the Wilson Center Digital Archive. I have done twenty of them so far.
A few are particularly memorable. I enjoyed translating Ziguang Hall literally rather than just using the transliteration!
Location: Zhongnanhai Hall of Barbarian Tributes (see Wiki . i alway wonder if there may be some subtleties that could escape us. Like the US Consulate in Chengdu being at No. 4 (an unlucky number as in 该死的美国人) Consulate Road
When French Senator Francois Mitterand saw Chairman Mao in 1960, he remarked on on breakneck industrialization thanks to the Great Leap Forward.
“Mitterrand: Yes. For example, when I came to China this time, I saw a lot of things, especially those small blast furnaces. This is quite ground-breaking work.” [ ]
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Musings on Pseudo Science 伪科学 and Cures for It

A recent Economist book review about pseudo science (伪科学 to you sino-literates out there) in personality testing got me thinking about the damage I have seen done by abuse of tests of no scientific validity.

The Economist book review is about the popular Myers-Briggs personality test.   The review “The enduring appeal of personality types  — How a mother-and-daughter duo invented the world’s most influential personality test” appeared in the Economist on August 30, 2018.  The business magazine Forbes ran an article along the same lines a few years ago “The Mysterious Popularity Of The Meaningless Myers-Briggs (MBTI)“.  Myers-Briggs testing is an industry with certifications and all so it just rolls along.

I remember when I joined the U.S. State Department in 1991, we were given this Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) just as the National Academy of Sciences came out with a report that it had no validity along with another language aptitude test we all had to take. When a PhD linguist from State Department’s Language Service spoke with our A-100 entering class, I brought up the NAS study. She agreed that the language aptitude test (some name like MLAT (memory fading as old age overtakes me!) based on the Pushtu language of Afghanistan of all things) had no scientific validity at all, but State management felt much more comfortable “if they have a number”.

One of my State Department colleagues had years and years of trouble getting Chinese language training because of his low language aptitude test score. The score made it harder for him to get a China assignment and the up to two years of language training invested in many of the foreign service officers assigned there. So pseudo-science does real harm!

Craziness and pseudo-science (伪科学 for you sinoliterates) isn’t confined to the US government of course. I remember when I worked at the US Consulate General in Chengdu (2007 – 2012) going through a Chinese police roadblock that had been set up because a lot of dynamite had been stolen from a State warehouse and they worried about a mad bomber on the loose. The police officer who checked the car I was in (the Chinese authorities were taking me out of a Tibetan area of Sichuan which was open but they had decided I need to leave nonetheless for ‘for my own safety’) was probing the back of the car with a wand connected to a small pack mounted on his waist. The pack was labelled “Army of England”. No such organization of course.

I looked it up later and found that someone was making phony bomb detectors and selling them on the Internet. In 2014 the BBC ran a “The story of the fake bomb detectors” about phony bomb detectors that look just like the one I saw except that there was no mention in the article of the Army of England label on the small pack — maybe one of the salespeople added that. Or perhaps a counterfeiter of a counterfeit product? Fleas have fleas have fleas maybe said Jonathan Swift?)

I later found a detailed a Chinese language Wiki article about the phony bomb detectors (but no mention of China)  along with two others, also in Chinese from the BBC and the Chinese information site Baidu that discusses local Chinese police use of the phony bomb detectors.

Apparently the Chinese police decided to buy some! Sichuan had mad bomber panics several times during my five years there. My theory was that there is a lot of wildcat mining in Sichuan and wildcast miners need dynamite. So they buy some under the table and dynamite stocks walk out the door of government warehouses. When the warehouses did inventory the loss would be discovered and a panic would ensue — oh no, a mad bomber on the loose! Then the police would set up checkpoints at choke points at Dujiangyan where a highway leaves the mountains and enters Chengdu.

Fake science and technology is a widespread problem because as the Forbes article mentioned above points out, people are always looking for a simple explanation, sometimes too simple an explanation.  Albert Einstein, talking about scientific theories, said that “Things should be as simple as possiblebut no simpler“.   But no, just like science, fake science and scientism,  famous Einstein quotes can be slippery things too!  Einstein indeed said something kind of like that, but this is the massaged, condensed,  version. Perhaps too simple a version of the quote against over-simplifying!  Einstein quotes, like Lincoln quotes, can be tricky things!  Perhaps because they are sharpened to be winning points in arguments?  One of my Chinese friends can spout an inexhaustible supply of wise old Chinese sayings, very much like an American Bible thumper with the same argument-winning drive.  My friend has more of a sense of humor than many of the Bible thumpers though.

What’s a mere human being to do?

I try to find some reliable sources of information.  No, not the glorious leader’s (伟大的领袖的) twitter feed.  One of my favorites is the website of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine at  They have many free online (PDF format) publications available including many policy studies done by groups of leading scientist to improve advice the US government gets on scientific issues.

The National Academy of Sciences Press is my top pick — they have many PDF books caavailable for free.  I subscribe to their email alerts.  Information on email or RSS alerts here.  Long reports but reading the summaries and skimming them can be rewarding.

A few recent examples:


Crossing the Global Quality Chasm: Improving Health Care Worldwide





From the Issues in Science and Technology series

First Looks: Summer 2018

Philosopher’s Corner: What Is Science in the National Interest?

How much accountability should the public and legislators demand of taxpayer-funded research endeavors?

Book Review: Varieties of Technological Experience

Carl Mitcham reviews The Question Concerning Technology in China: An Essay in Cosmotechnics, by Yuk Hui.

Perspective: Self-Driving Cars: How Soon Is Soon Enough?

The movement toward autonomous vehicles has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives in the future. But it should not proceed through technological determinism or in a hasty dash for commercial profit.

Real Numbers: Indicators of R&D Tax Support

Tax incentives have become an increasingly popular instrument for governments to promote private-sector research and development investment, displacing direct funding such as grants and public procurement.

The Limits of Dual Use

Distinguishing between military and civilian applications of scientific research and technology development has become increasingly difficult. A more nuanced framework is needed to guide research.

Adapting to Global Warming: Four National Priorities

In the context of uncertainty about how climate change will play out in the future, magnified by the need to act despite meaningful precedents, there are four things the United States needs to do now to address global warming.


Another good source is the Nature website at   The website of their flagship journal Nature has a surprising number of articles available to non-subscribers though I subscribe myself.   For example, these articles from the August 30, 2018 issue.  A very fun science fiction story at the end of every issues.  Scientists don’t like pseudo-science by many of them do like science fiction!


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