Videos

Chinese Veteran’s Memories of WWII

News and Travel Editor

Zhang Yuanxiang is 96 years old and plays the piano at his home in GuangZhou.

During WWII, his life was very different. He worked as an Anti-aircraft Unit Spotter for the Nationalist Chinese Army.

In this video, Zhang Yuanxiang describes some of his memories of the Second Sino-Japanese war, as the Second World War in China is known. Working first in Wuhan and then fleeing with the majority of the Army and Nationalist government to the fortress city of ChongQing, on the river Yangtse, Yuanxiang’s story is one of finding hope in a fearful time.

I hope you enjoy his account, and would love to know what you think.

 

In the News this Month…JUNE

News and Travel Editor

Let’s kick off with highlights from June.

  • Over 9 million students across China took on the infamous Gaokao exam this month. The two day exam is the ONLY way for students to gain access to Universities across China.Want to see if you’d pass? Have a go here 
  • The Dragon Boat Festival fell in June this year. The festival celebrates the life and  death of Poet Qu Yuan. Locals paddled in boats to him after he committed suicide,inspiring the Dragon Boat Racing we know and love today.
  • Theme parks have made big news this month, with Disneyland Shanghai and Wanda Cultural Tourism City in Nanchang going head to head. Disneyland Shanghai promises to be different to existing Magic Kingdoms, and news has spread of some of the incredible technology on display at the park.
  • Great news for Panda lovers, the world’s first Giant Panda Twin Sisters have been born in Chengdu Congrats to Mum, Yali!
  • In the world of film, huge box office success in China has helped make ‘Warcraft’  the highest grossest video game movie of all time (over $378million taken so far)
  • It’s been a busy month in the world of science, too. Chinese Scientists are turning plastic pollution into fuel! . 
  •  China has begun a six month long human experiment to prepare for life in space!  
  • Science and Buddhism unite with Xian’er, the robot who chants mantras and answers your questions

 

 

 

What is the Gaokao?

News and Travel Editor

Students across China can breathe a sigh of relief now that they are safely free from the dreaded Gaokao exam. The Chinese education system in the largest in the world, and over 9 million students sit the Gaokao every year.

As stories about the exam have littered social media, we thought we’d answer your questions about the famously difficult college entry exam.

 

What does Gaokao mean?

‘Gaokao’ roughly translates as ‘high test’.

 

What is the Gaokao?

It is an exam that students across China take once a year and acts as the sole determinant to most Chinese Universities and Colleges. Yikes!

 

How long does it last?

The Gaokao lasts 9 hours – twice as long as the SAT in the USA – spread over 3 days.

 

Is the Gaokao a big deal in China?

The Gaokao is a HUGE deal. The test is a national event – roads are closed, construction is halted and some taxi drivers even give students free rides to create the best atmosphere for students as possible.

 

Who takes it, and how many people pass?

Students take it in their final year of secondary education. There are minimum Gaokao requirements for each of China’s universities, with roughly two-thirds the amount of spaces as there are students taking the Gaokao.

 

What is ON the Gaokao?

Chinese, maths and a foreign language are compulsory. Three other humanities/science subjects are chosen by the student.

 

 

Want to have a go? Here are a few example questions that students have faced on the Gaokao in the past.

 

1) Good families are much to all their members, but______ to none.

A. something

B. anything

C. everything

D. nothing

 

2) For hyperbola (x 2 )/(a 2 )-(y 2 )/3=1 (a>0), suppose the eccentricity is 2, then a=?

A. 2

B. 6 (1/2) /2

C. 5 (1/2) /2

D. 1

 

3) Banks charge processing fees and interest when granting loans. They charge

fees because of the services provided, such as account management. The reason

for claiming interest is that

A. Banks are a monopoly

B. Bank credit is higher than commercial credit

C. Capital offered by banks is a factor of production

D. Banks are the hub of smooth production

 

 

ANSWERS

1. C

2. D

3. C

The Most Famous Pandas in the World

News and Travel Editor

It’s nearly time to celebrate everyone’s favourite Panda triplets reaching their second birthday! The famous trio, Meng Meng, Shuai Shuai and Ku Ku, are the oldest surviving Giant Panda triplets in history! The adorable siblings were born in Chimelong Safari Park in Beijing to Mum Ju Xiao on July 29th 2014. To build up to the big day (will it top last year’s?), here’s 7 facts that will make you love the black and white bears even more!

7 Facts that will make you love Giant Pandas even more

1. Giant Panda in Mandarin (大熊猫Dà xióngmāo) literally translates to ‘Big Bear Cat’

2. Giant Pandas spend on average two-thirds of their day feeding and the remainder resting. Sounds like a great weekend to me!

panda cubs

3. Pandas don’t use a specific resting place to sleep, but simply lie down on the ground wherever they happen to be.

4. When first born, Panda cubs are about the length of a pencil and the weight of an orange! These tiny cubs are only 1/900th the size of their mother.

Panda

5. Cubs don’t open their eyes until they are at least six weeks old.

6. Unlike most other bears, Pandas do not hibernate. This means we get to love them ALL YEAR ROUND!

7. Giant Pandas have distinct personalities. Of the triplets, Meng Meng, the eldest, is the quiet one. Shuai Shuai is VERY cheeky. The youngest panda, Ku Ku, is very chilled, but makes it very clear when he’s not enjoying something.

Has it worked, do you love them EVEN MORE or are you such a fan that you already knew all these facts? Have you got any more great ones to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Keep your eyes peeled for some exclusive footage of the cuddly cuties coming soon from China Icons! Subscribe HERE

hungry panda