Archive for the ‘Guangzhou’ Category

China’s jobless migrants go home early for holiday

January 8, 2009

Some hefted their luggage on bamboo shoulder poles. Others carried their things in plastic buckets. All were migrant workers hurrying to get home Thursday before China‘s Lunar New Year festival — a holiday that triggers one of the world’s biggest annual migrations of humans.

Although the celebration is more than two weeks away, the travelers had to get an early start in a country where 188 million people — more than the population of Russia — were expected to squeeze onto trains during the hectic season.

Many workers were forced to go home even earlier this year because their factories went belly up or their assembly lines were idle amid the global economic crisis.

By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Writer

A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern ... 
A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong province, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. Some 188 million Chinese are expected to squeeze onto China’s train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese Lunar New Year.(AP Photo/William Foreman)

“Last year, I went back home five or six days before the holiday started. This year, I’m going back about 20 days earlier,” said migrant Huang Mingren as he waited for his train.

For Huang and many others, the trip begins at the crowded station in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, often called the world’s factory floor because it’s China’s key manufacturing base. This is where a huge number of China’s 160 million migrant workers churn out Nike shoes, iPods and Nokia mobile phones.

“Lots of factories have been closing. The toy factory I was working at is about to go under, so the boss just told us to leave early,” added Huang, a wiry 32-year-old native of central Hunan province.

Many migrants also hit the road early because they were worried about the weather. Last year, ice storms paralyzed the transport system in southern China during the peak holiday season, forcing millions to delay or cancel their plans. About 200,000 were stranded at Guangzhou’s station and spent nights outside in a freezing drizzle.

Related:
Economic Slowdown Already Sees 600,000 Chinese Migrants Relocate

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090108/ap_on_re_as/as_chi
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Animal Advocates in China: “Stop Eating Cats”

December 18, 2008

I recall being told in more than one Communist nation that pets like dogs and cats were “Symbols of American wealth, waste and decadence.”  Dogs and cats were not allowed as pets.  But dogs and cats could be kept if they were destined for the dinner table….

Other images of cats

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A southern Chinese province must stop the “shameful” and “cruel slaughter” of cats for food, a group of more than 40 animal lovers in Beijing said Thursday as they unfurled banners in a tearful protest.

Thousands of cats across the country have been caught in the past week by traders and transported to Guangdong province to be killed for food, said the protesters gathered at the Guangdong government’s office in Beijing.

Associated Press

“We are very angry because the cats are being skinned and then cooked alive. We must make them correct this uncivilized behavior,” said Wang Hongyao, who represented the group in submitting a letter to the Guangdong office.

The protesters urged the provincial government to crack down on cat traders and restaurants that serve cat meat, although no law says it is illegal to eat cats. It has long been common for cats and dogs to be eaten in some parts of China and in some other Asian countries.

The demonstrators held up banners saying “Cooking cats alive! Shame on Guangdong!” and “Resolutely oppose cruel slaughter” as they met with a representative of the Guangdong office.

A pet owner looks at  banners reading ' Resolutely protest the ... 
A pet owner looks at banners reading ‘ Resolutely protest the slaughtering of the Pet’ and ‘Live cooked cat insult of Guangdong’ at an animal lovers protest in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec.18, 2008. Beijing residents have unfurled banners in a protest urging a southern Chinese province to stop the ‘cruel slaughter’ of cats for food. The protesters say as many as 5,000 cats across the country, mostly strays, have been caught in the past week by traders and transported to Guangdong province — to be killed for food.(AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel)

Calls to the Guangdong provincial office in Beijing rang unanswered, while the government news office in the province refused to comment.

The protest was apparently in response to Chinese media reports in recent days that carried pictures of furry felines peering out through bamboo crates and metal cages, apparently en route to Guangzhou, Guangdong’s capital. Other pictures show cats being skinned in restaurant kitchens.

Read the rest:
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=6485958

Gareth O'Connor holds his friend's dog 'Spanky' ...
In many places, dogs and cats are members of the family and not on the menu.  Pet care is better in many places than at a human nursing home.  Here, Gareth O’Connor holds his friend’s dog ‘Spanky’ as he sits in his pet ambulance in Sydney. Australian duo Niccole George and Gareth O’Connor have established a 24-hour ambulance service just for pets, to help desperate animal owners unable to transport their sick animals to medical help.(AFP/File/Greg Wood)