Forums > Living in Kunming > legal status, right of social medias, intelligence
For a start, if you are in China, it doesn't matter if you are a French/Namibian/Timbuktu citizen, Chinese law and the rights that a Chinese person has are applied to you. You do not get special privilege or treated any differently unless you are a diplomat or ambassador of your country.
Chinese privacy laws, as far as I know, are largely non existent. However there are parts of other laws that indicate people have a right for freedom of discrimination and freedom of secrecy (which doesn't apply if you are breaking other laws though).
Coming soon however may be a new law that more explicitly defines your internet freedoms, they are drafting laws to cover counter-terrorism, with the wording indicating they are interested in establishing mechanisms that would ensure that access to private phone and Internet records, go through a strict approval procedure for search and seizure. The information gathered being used solely for the purpose of counter-terrorism. I would expect their definition of terrorism however to include violation of particular tenets, most likely one being the right for the Chinese Communist party to rule China.
Basically you have little protection Gompo and as the judicial system in China is not exactly independent, I wouldn't expect any sort of privacy that we are "afforded" in the West.
(I put the "afforded" in quotes because Dazzer is spot on).
Forums > Living in Kunming > GMO Poison
And some farmers are forced into purchasing GMO seeds by aggressive pesticide and seed companies who wish to monopolise the food system. Pesticide Action Network is a grass roots organisation I used to work with who through investigations in India found shadowy middle men employed by Monsanto who would do all kinds of things to force farmers into buying their GMO "high yield" Bt cotton seeds. They would "convince" (read "force") farmers into buying their seeds which they advertised as having higher yields, more, drought resistance etc etc, but once planted the exact opposite was true, the seeds cost 3x the amount as normal, required huge amounts of Round up (another Monsanto product), caused lower yields and in many places made the land unsuitable for future crops that were not the same, locking the farmer into buying the seeds again. The destruction in India was shocking with farmers committing suicide, land ruined etc... seriously, read up all about them as they aren't a company you really want to be involved in our food systems:www.panna.org/[...]
Forums > Living in Kunming > Bike Stealing in Kunming
The thieves are well organised, they use an incredibly strong tool that works on air pressure or battery which can slice through virtually anything in seconds. I saw a fairly close video of it when my wife's bike was stolen, the thief had the lock broken in seconds, pulled out a tool and snipped the d-lock and riding off on the bike. They are pretty brazen, this was right outside a bank with security guards standing outside with their backs turned. He then went to a mian bao che around the corner which was waiting.
The lock/chain won't matter IMO.
Forums > Living in Kunming > environmental documentary
Come on guys lets not be naive. Clearly the documentary was well produced, by a person who must have close ties to the CCP and who was allowed to interview anyone and everyone without impunity. The story of the documentary was a little too fairytale and the people who were interviewed were a little too high up the chain to have not sought permission or questioned people in the government about the interviews. If the CCP did not want this shown, they would have and could have had it shut down before it was even aired on youku, probably while it was being made. They didn't, and because they didn't it shows its production and release was clearly intentional. They wanted to show their intentions regarding environmental legal changes approaching and their enforcement. However, the doco became bigger than they thought it would and tipped over the point where "showing their intentions" started becoming "a bit embarrassing at showing how impotent some of our governing is" possibly leading to social disharmony. Hence the removal.
They killed two birds with one stone shutting it down - slowed its spread and limited the embarrassment it is causing and reinforced that they have absolute power over the media, both traditional and online.
Forums > Living in Kunming > Western Backpackers
This is a bit of a silly question isn't it neddy?
Without enquiring into each individuals travel intentions, you can't say with any authority what they should or should not be wearing. The backpacker(s) in question could be en-route to climb meili xue shan (for example) or another hike which requires fairly technical hiking gear. They may need what they are wearing and are wearing it around the city because it is what they bought from where they came from. In this situation they (or "we", as I am also sometimes of this crowd that goes places and hikes fairly technical routes) do not wish to carry casual city attire as our packs are already full with what we need to survive in the mountains. Hence you will see us walking around in hi tech outdoor gear in the city as its all that we have with us.
There are also outdoor poseurs, who buy all the gear and then only climb Xi Shan, find its too hard so take the cable car down. If they wish to spend their money on very expensive outdoor gear, I encourage it, as it lowers the price for those of us that need it. :-)
But why question it at all? Why not just accept that people all over travel differently depending on what they are comfortable with and their intentions? It seems a bit of a judgemental thing to ask.