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China Speak: Detroit Houses, Food Safety & a Turtle Burger

Quotes from around China this week

“I have people calling and saying, ‘I’m serious—I wanna buy 100, 200 properties.’ They say ‘We don’t need to see them. Just pick the good ones.’”
- Real estate broker Caroline Chen on Chinese wanting to buy up cheap homes in Detroit. Quartz

“Civil society is society. You can’t ban society. If you do that, you turn against the people.”
- Professor Gao Bingzhong, director of the Centre for Civil Society Studies at Peking University, on the Communist party’s fear of allowing citizens to organize. Financial Times

“I believe that the government and political party who cannot be criticized is in most need of criticism. If I’m in danger because I criticize, I think the state is in bigger risk than I am.”
- Fund manager Wang Ying. South China Morning Post

"We used to have quotas for oil, for rice, for wheat. We have gradually lifted all those other quotas, but not for education. People in Beijing and Shanghai realize this is a very important privilege and they won't give it up so easily."
- Peking University law professor Zhang Qianfan, on policies that stack the odds against Chinese with rural household registrations when applying to top universities. Los Angeles Times

“How can we still trust mainland-made food after reading all these horrendous stories on food safety issues? We are the parents of our children, and nobody can accuse us for just wanting the best for our babies. It’s not that we don’t love our country — we just dare not take the risk.”
- Guangzhou resident and new mother Tina, on why she and others obtain milk power products only from outside mainland China. New York Times

“There’s no turtle in there, just a hamburger. There’s nothing special to see inside.”
- China Southern Airlines passenger surnamed Lee, who attempted to bring his pet turtle through airport security by hiding it in a KFC sandwich. South China Morning Post


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