The highest ranking member of China’s officially recognized Protestant church has been imprisoned after he vocally opposed the government’s plan to demolish crosses displayed on churches in the province of Zhejiang. According to reports from the group China Aid, Pastor Gu Yuese has been placed in a “black jail” and is under “residential surveillance.” Gu’s wife and several family members are also now missing.
In a statement, the president and founder of the group China Aid, Bob Fu, said, “His arrest marks a major escalation in the crackdown against those who oppose the forced demolition of crosses. He will be the highest-ranking national church leader arrested since the Cultural Revolution.” Government officials have disputed the details of his imprisonment, saying that he is being investigated for “suspicions of economic issues, including embezzling money.” Activists and supporters, however, have said that the arrest was motivated by Gu’s opposition to the government’s recent crackdown. Discuss
The Chinese government announced today that it will lift the 35-year-old one child per family policy, now allowing two children per family. The historic policy reversal was made in hopes that it would counteract the effects of the country’s aging population. Thirty percent of the country is over 50, with one-tenth over 65.
Under the old policy, families were forced to pay fines if they had a second child. There were also accounts of forced abortions. As males were generally seen as more desirable, the country also has suffered from an extreme gender imbalance. Discuss
Impressive marketing strategy? Proof that the housing bubble is about the crash? The end of the world as we know it? In any case, strange things have been afoot in China, where menacing skyscrapers have been spotted in the clouds above the country’s Foshan and Jiangxi regions. As The Mirror reports, the phenomena has been dismissed as Fata Morgana, an optical illusion where light passing through different temperatures creates a mirage.
All decent theories for sure. But isn’t it obvious, people? The country has finally found the alien race they’ve been looking for. Here’s hoping those celestial buildings are rent controlled. Discuss
As The Independent reports, China is about to get into the alien hunt in a big way. The nation will play host to the world’s largest intelligent life-form seeking telescope. The 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (or FAST, for short) is slated to be located in the Guizhou province.
“A radio telescope is like a sensitive ear, listening to tell meaningful radio messages from white noise in the universe," scientist Nan Rendong told the Xinhua news agency. “It is like identifying the sound of cicadas in a thunderstorm.”
No word yet on if any alien life forms have been found. Or, at least, reported. As we learned from Men in Black, they’re pretty much working in every public service industry in the nation, right? Discuss
Acrophobics, you may want to scroll on—because this is the kind of news that might make you sweat. The world’s longest glass bridge has opened in China. At 590 feet high and 984 feet long, the Shiniuzhai Geopark crossing has earned the nickname “hero bridge,” because, as Bored Panda points out, the majority of tourists are freaking out while trying to walk it. Fair enough. Discuss
In a move that the New York Times has described as “landmark,” China has announced new measures that will make it part of international efforts to address climate change. President Xi Jinping’s country is the biggest polluter in the world, but a new cap-and-trade system—to go into effect in 2017—will seek to reduce greenhouse emissions across many of its major industries. China’s new policy will also seek to incentivize companies to use cleaner sources of energy. President Xi is currently in Washington D.C. to meet with U.S. officials. Discuss