Quirky China: Woman runs 49 red lights in ex's car, Japanese manga boycott over Taiwan and rice paddy art for CCP

SCMP wraps up the quirky stories coming out of China this week.
PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube/Zhengguan News

A woman who took her ex-boyfriend’s car and ran 49 red lights for revenge has been arrested and charged along with another man who helped her, the Global Times has reported.

Police in Shaoxing, east China’s Zhejiang province, said a man surnamed Chen was convinced to rent an Audi from the car’s owner, surnamed Qian.

Chen later passed the car to another man, named Zhu, who along with a woman named Lou ran 49 red lights before they were caught by local police and detained for speeding.

Police said that Qian and Lou had dated previously and that Lou was furious that Qian left her for another woman.

After being questioned by police about their behaviour, Zhu admitted that he asked his friend, Chen, to rent the car for him.

He said he agreed to go along with the plot because Lou said she would date him if he pulled it off.

Chinese anime fans in outrage over Taiwan

A Japanese anime is the latest in a long line of celebrities, companies, publications and organisations to enrage China by referring to Taiwan as a country, reported the Global Times.

A recent episode of the anime Kengan Omega featured a character from Taiwan in conversation with a character from Mongolia.

A handout photo. Kengan Omega has been popular in China since it launched in 2019. 
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

“You do not seem to have freedom,” said the Mongolian character. “Do I? You haven’t been to Taiwan, have you,” replied the character from Taiwan.

Despite not calling Taiwan a country, Chinese fans instantly leapt to the conclusion that this was the intent behind the exchange and quickly flew into a rage online.

“The dialogue hints that the Chinese mainland has no freedom and it treats the island of Taiwan as a country,” claimed one online Chinese commenter quoted by the Global Times .

The Japanese series was first aired in 2019 and quickly gained a large following among Chinese anime and manga fans.

Recently, actor John Cena issued an apology to Chinese fans after accidentally calling Taiwan a country in an interview while promoting the latest instalment in the Fast and Furious film franchise.

Rice paddy artwork celebrates Party centenary

Rice paddies in China have been turned into art commemorating the Communist Party.
PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube/Zhengguan News

A number of rice paddies in Helan county, in China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region, have been shaped to make artwork celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party when viewed from above.

The centenary celebrations were not the first time these paddies have been shaped to celebrate important Chinese government anniversaries. They have been a tourist attraction for years and last year there were more than 200,000 visitors.

This year, the paddies were shaped into objects such as a junk boat, sailing below Chinese characters meaning the “red boat spirit”, a reference to the party’s supposed fearlessness.

Other paddies were made into messages in Chinese characters, high-speed trains and of people celebrating the Communist Party’s achievements.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.