Bill Birtles Profile picture
Jakarta bureau chief for Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) covering Indonesia & SE Asia. Previously Taipei & Beijing -
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Nov 27, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
So I thought it was BS that China’s govt broadcaster was censoring shots of fans at the World Cup due to lockdown anger back home. But it’s true.
Here are live feeds from SBS & CCTV (which has a 32 second delay). As ⁦@DreyerChina⁩ explained, CCTV avoids crowd close ups: Here’s the Canadian goal from the same match. The int’l feed everyone else gets shows fans close up. CCTV switches out those shots with feeds of coaches or wide shots. Watched 2 games - very obvious. It’s imperfect though - one cheering fans shot snuck through in the replay:
Nov 25, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Big celebrity news from China - Singer, rapper (sort of), actor Kris Wu sentenced to 13 yrs in jail for raping fans & ‘group licentiousness’. He will be deported to Canada after serving his sentence (not that most Canadians have heard of him). Wu was THE big ⭐️ just a few yrs ago ImageImage Hard to overstate how big Kris Wu was just a few years back. He was everywhere, on ads flogging products, on the ‘China has Hip Hop’ show etc. A bit similar to fellow Canadian Bieber maybe? But with less global appeal
Oct 22, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Li Keqiang is off the next Politburo standing committee, despite some speculation he’d remain on despite losing the Premier title (eg. see below). His name is not among the 205 members of the new Central Committee released today: But probably a bigger surprise - Politburo standing committee member Wang Yang’s name is not among the new central committee too. Both he and Li are 67… an age usually young enough to stay on. For those wondering, Xi Jinping’s name is there…
Oct 20, 2022 17 tweets 4 min read
Ma Zhaoxu, a CCP Foreign Affairs official:

“General Secretary Xi Jinping is a Marxist statesman and strategic thinker with outstanding political wisdom, excellent theoretical foresight and a profound global vision." - "He explores deep into humanity’s future” Image Ma, a senior Communist Party foreign affairs official, on Taiwan:

"We have won over 9 countries that the Taiwan authorities claim to have so-called diplomatic relations with".
Oct 16, 2022 20 tweets 4 min read
At the speech outset, after usual language on socialist development, Xi listed major achievements:

Covid - "We put people and lives first & launched an all-out people's war against the virus".

On HK: "Patriots now administer HK"

On diplomacy: :We have upheld China's dignity" Xi listing a decade of achievements: Manned space flights, supercomputers... "China has joined the ranks of the world's innovators". Most interesting though he says GDP per capital has gone from 39k cny to 81k cny in ten years.
Oct 13, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Photos online purport to show a rare protest in Beijing’s Haidian district just ahead of the 20th Party Congress.

Extraordinary given pre-Congress security + surveillance

Among the slogans: ‘Don’t want PCR tests, want to eat’

‘Don’t want a Cultural revolution, want reforms’ Another photo from protest up near Zhongguancun/University area of Beijing. Extraordinary given the politics and security just out from the Congress:
Jul 20, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
1/3 Some really distressing videos coming out of Zhengzhou in central China - this driver looks rather calm under pressure. But other videos on WeChat show what appear to be people clearly struggling to keep their heads above the flood waters. Death toll so far is 1, 2 missing 2/3: A woman rescued in flood waters in Zhengzhou, Henan (video from WeChat).
Mar 19, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read
While people panic around the world, these are the pictures on Chinese state TV. There is a real ‘Mission Accomplished’ feel to the gov’t media #coronavirus coverage - with delegation after delegation of doctors, nurses & others departing #Wuhan as new infections there dwindle. In provinces across China, medical teams that were sent to #Wuhan and Hubei are being given heroic welcomes as they return home, according to State TV. #COVID19 cases are actually rising again but mainly in #Beijing due to people flying in from abroad.