Tuesday Taelspin: From the Beijing Airport to the Palace of Milk

In preparation for the Olympics, Beijing last week unveiled the long-anticipated Terminal 3, the mammoth new edition to the Beijing Airport. The Telegraph’s Richard Spencer blogs on his recent flight, one of the first to use the new terminal.

If you do find yourself passing through an airport in the PRC mind your in-flight reading material, as journalist Tim Johnson of China Rises found out when the customs agents at the Lhasa airport took issue with one of his recent purchases from a Kathmandu bookstore.

Controlling books at an airport is one thing, managing a famously eccentric pop star is another. Songstress Björk has caused quite a stir following her performance in Shanghai over the weekend. During the closing bars of her song “Declare Independence,” the quirky Icelandic singer shouted “Tibet! Tibet!” setting off a bit of a firestorm in the Chinese blogosphere (just coming down from their anti-Spielberg tirades) as well as a fair dose of embarrassment for the concert promoter. I have a feeling that Björk’s little stunt will serve only as a warm-up exercise for the CCP spin doctors who really should expect more of the same during the Olympic games.

With thoughts of independence movements on my mind, I enjoyed Dave's piece at The Mutant Palm about Chinese media coverage of anti-terrorism operations in Xinjiang. The very definition of a must-read.

You don’t have to be counted as a possible Islamic separatist to run afoul of the PSB. Prolific blogger Josh at Cup of Cha nearly found himself officially labeled “dissatisfied with China” after the latest check of his papers, which came as part of a new crackdown in Beijing on foreigners and those Chinese living in the capital without a Beijing hukou.

Finally, we’re all eagerly awaiting the publication of Eric Abrahamson’s new book Beijing by Foot. The lanky writer has been traversing the streets and hutongs of the capital in his search for the odd and the out-of-the-way. Not content with walking every inch of Beijing above ground, Eric has also infiltrated the vast labyrinth of tunnels under the city. Among his many great finds is the “Milk Palace” (I vote for calling it “The Lactorium” but whatever): a Qing-dynasty building which housed beautiful Manchu maidens whose job it was to provide—well—milk for the Emperor’s (and later Empress Dowager’s) good health. More good stuff no doubt to come from author Abrahmason.

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