Too busy to get your daily dose of RADII? We got you every Tuesday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week.
- Get to know 6 of Team China’s ice hockey players who are not from the People’s Republic.
- Developed by Sloclap, “Sifu” is a video game that puts players in control of a kung fu student who is on a mission to avenge his murdered family.
- What’s it like fighting in a man’s world? We talk to Boxing & Kickboxing legend Michele Aboro in our latest episode of China From All Angles.
- Chinese tech giant Alibaba has launched a limited collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to pay tribute to the Beijing 2022.
- A video of a woman chained in a rural shack has prompted an investigation and discussion about human trafficking and mental health issues in China.
Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.
On February 10, China’s men’s ice hockey team laced up against the U.S. squad in what many predicted would be a good ol’ fashion shellacking. Unsurprisingly, the outcome was a decisive 8-0 loss for Team China at the hands of the Americans.
Predictions leading into the Olympics put the Chinese team at a gross disadvantage. Many pundits predicted the Games’ hosts would either pull out of the contest to avoid embarrassment or end up getting crushed in the first round by American and Canadian squads stacked with the best of the NHL.
But with the NHL announcing on December 22 that their players would be sitting the Olympic contest out, it seemed China would stand a much better chance. And while 8-0 is unquestionably a lop-sided score, the fact the Chinese national team kept the U.S. side from running into the double digits is a victory in its own right.
Aside from the all-out clobbering by the Americans — and a much closer 3-2 loss to Germany today, viewers may have noticed something else about Team China: Many of the players are not ethnically Chinese. Out of the 48 players on China’s men’s and women’s ice hockey teams, 28 were born outside of China, and six are not of Chinese descent.
China does not recognize dual citizenship, but the enforcement of this rule is less clear when it comes to foreign-born Olympic athletes. China’s ‘Snow Princess,’ Eileen Gu, has been tight-lipped about the status of her U.S. citizenship. Still, netizens speculate that she has retained her American passport, as she wrote in a March 2021 Weibo post that she qualified for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which is only available to U.S. nationals and permanent residents, after her move to Team China.
U.S.-born Jeremy Smith, who plays ice hockey for Team China, said outright that he did not give up his passport to make the big move, and Chinese officials likely afforded other foreign players the same leniency.
So who are these foreign nationals donning red on the ice? Here, we’ve rounded up six players on the Team China men’s ice hockey team who were not born in the People’s Republic.
Last month, we wrote about a new Steam PC game that imparts the immortal knowledge of traditional Chinese martial arts to gamers. Today, we’re back with more exciting gaming slash martial arts news: You can practice kung fu moves in virtual fights in a new game called Sifu, which means ‘master’ in Cantonese, available for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.
The single-player combat game was developed by Sloclap, the French game studio behind the hit game Absolver, and launched on February 8 on the PlayStation Store and Epic Games Store.
According to the game’s official website, the studio worked with Benjamin Colussi. He learned pak mei kung fu while living in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, in coastal Guangdong province. The studio credited Colussi as an inspiration for the movements used by the main character in the game.
Fang was born in the Year of the Tiger 84 years ago, and needless to say, a lot has changed in China over the past eight-plus decades. In the grey winters, in the shadow of Huang Mountain in Anhui province, Fang spends his time wrapped in a blanket, bundled up to combat the penetrating cold.
Warmth in these tiny isolated villages can be hard to find during the winter months. Coldness and bitterness, says Fang, are some of the only constants in his life.
Born in 1938 during the Chinese Civil War, he survived by carrying letters for the Guomindang, running between army checkpoints with the letter held firmly to his forehead as proof he didn’t read it.
Click here for more videos from the ‘Spirit of the Tiger’ series.
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