November 24,

No. 31

AMS Weekly Newsletter
Supporting the development of the future stewards of U.S.-China relations
There will not be a newsletter next week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. If you need to practice your Chinese over the coming weekend we suggest the film at the bottom--a classic!
And if you want to offer thanks to AMS over this Thanksgiving, please support us by donating. Donations can be made via Paypal, are tax deductible, and take about 30 seconds! You could do it right now...

Weekly Readings
On November 29, Taiwanese take to the polls for a massive election in which the only position seemingly not up for grabs is the presidency. More than 11,000 positions ranging from the six mayors of special municipalities to nearly 8,000 borough wardens are up for grabs. Today's readings are primarily links to election coverage. The marquee election is the Taipei City Mayor, which is a stepping stone to the presidency and where an independent candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is polling well ahead of KMT candidate Sean Lien (連勝文). Although there is a slight bias toward Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party, the reasons for this bias become clear. We also include two Chinese takes on the election.

Weibo Watch

Ken Takakura, the "Clint Eastwood of Japan," passed away on November 10 after a battle with lymphoma. His death was only made public last week. His 1976 film "Kimi yo Funnu no Kawa o Watare" was the first foreign film shown in China after the Cultural Revolution, making him an icon on the mainland. He also starred in Zhang Yimou's 2005 film "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles" (千里走单骑).

Now "Ken Takakura Dies" (#高仓健去世#) is the number-one topic on Weibo. Known for his portrayal of yakuza (gangsters), many users are leaving candles for "the handsomest iron man" (最帅的硬汉). Some anti-Japanese users disparage the outpouring of grief. "He's Japanese," complains 箴言彦. "We don't need to remember him, to say the least." A few bring up the Nanjing Massacre. Other users scorn the "angry youth" (愤青) for their knee-jerk reaction to any news out of Japan. "All artists deserve respect, just as the whole world respected Bruce Lee!" writes 蓝晓幽lxy. "Save your venom for when one of our stars is insulted by other countries, dear angry youth! Art has no borders."

俗语 in Xi Jinping's Speeches


Translation: be separated by vast oceans

On November 17 President Xi gave a speech in Canberra to the Australian parliament in which he outlined his wishes for a strategic partnership between China and Australia. He used the phrase 远隔重洋 to explain that despite being separated by vast oceans, China and Australia still had a long history of friendly exchanges. This is a useful phrase to use when speaking to Chinese audiences about the U.S. and China.

Original: 中国和澳大利亚虽然远隔重洋,但两国友好交往源远流长。
Documentary of the Week

On a very different note, this week's film is not a documentary, but rather "不见不散," a classic movie about two Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles. The two main characters are played by Ge You (葛优) and Xu Fan (徐帆). Apart from being a good-hearted and humorous film, the script makes colorful use of the Chinese language with an understandable Beijing accent. It also pokes fun at Chinese-language learning, playing with familiar phrases as the characters teach the language to the children of other Chinese immigrants. And the scene where Ge You shows off his ambition for greening Tibet is one of your editor's favorite movie scenes of all time.

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