Bad behavior, plus the women who run China’s secret military phone network - China’s latest top news - SupChina

Bad behavior, plus the women who run China’s secret military phone network – China’s latest top news

Bad behavior

Above, you can see our word of the day: “bad behavior.” You can read about Justin Bieber’s bad behavior in China in the Society and Culture section of this newsletter below, or click through to CNN for the latest bad behavior of Jared Kushner’s family firm, which is apparently still using its White House connections to hawk immigration real estate schemes to Chinese investors.

Hello operator, give me Xi Jinping!

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) website and newspaper have published an article (in Chinese) titled “Revealed: The female soldiers who are the invisible voices of Communications Channel Number One of the Central Military Commission.” The South China Morning Post has an article summarizing “previous reports by state media” and the key facts from the PLA article, including:

  • The “Channel Number One” unit, founded in 1960, is an all-women military group that transfers phone calls between military leaders through a system of red desk phones.
  • The operators must memorize “more than 3,000 phone numbers,” be able to recognize the voices of senior leaders, “understand all Chinese dialects,” and be proficient typists.
  • The PLA article depicts the operators as heroes at work 24 hours a day directing the flow of communications about military affairs and national crises, such as the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

1890: The start of the China-India standoff in the Himalayas  

The standoff between China on one side and India and Bhutan on the other has been called the worst border row “in 30 years” by Beijing’s ambassador in New Delhi. It’s also very complicated. A new article on the Indian website The Wire explains some of the issues making life difficult at  at the trijunction of Chinese, Indian, and Bhutanese borders:

  • The modern boundaries are based on the Sikkim-Tibet border defined in the Anglo-Chinese Convention, which was “based on possibly flawed surveys” and signed in Kolkata in 1890.
  • The Chinese and Indian governments have different interpretations of the place names and mountain ridges described in the 1890 convention.
  • Bhutan was not a signatory to the convention.  
Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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