Party won't even get started when communists gather in Beijing
BEIJING — In honor of the upcoming 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party, here are just a few of the things you cannot do in Beijing.
Watch foreign television while you exercise in a health club. Attend an outdoor concert. Do your homework online. Buy a knife in the supermarket. Buy lunch from a food cart. Run a marathon.
Mao Zedong once said revolution is not a dinner party, but the party congress scheduled to begin on Thursday — during which a new Chinese leadership will be anointed — isn't looking like much fun, either.
Since September, in the name of security, Chinese authorities have turned to regulations that are snuffing much of the life out of Beijing, and police have increased their presence to keep the capital's streets free of problems. As a result, many residents are finding the country's political event of the decade to be a colossal inconvenience.
Countless public events — cultural, sporting and business — have been canceled or postponed with no explanation and scant notice.
It has become difficult to find street vendors selling jianbing, a Beijing-style fried pancake that used to be as ubiquitous as hot dogs in New York, or someone grilling chuan, the Chinese version of shish kebab.
At the city's five-star hotels, television sets are all fixed to state-run channels.
“You can't see foreign programs anymore because we are not allowed to play them. I don't know why, but the relevant parties said it was not allowed,” said an employee in the gym at the Grand Hyatt.
The congress is the whopper political event in China, sort of like the Republican and Democratic conventions and election night all rolled into one.
Though the event takes place every five years, this year's gathering is highly important because both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are to be replaced, along with other members of the top leadership.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kurds rout ISIS from key town in Syria
- Tikrit battle poses test for Iraqi army
- Russians pour into streets to mourn Putin’s foe Nemtsov
- Argentine President Fernandez: Late prosecutor Nisman had praised her
- Iran’s role against ISIS in Tikrit stokes U.S. unease over Tehran influence, Sunni-Shiite tensions
- China again boosts military spending by double digits
- Mexican cartel kingpin busted
- U.S. Ambassador to South Korea stable after facial surgery for knife wounds