« Previous | Main | Next »

Questions for Hugh in China?

Eddie Mair | 11:39 UK time, Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Now that we think things are working again...you can ask them via the comment link here.


  1. At 11:41 AM on 07 Feb 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    What are Hugh & top team having for their dinner? He must know the country so well now that I really do want to know!

  2. At 11:42 AM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    How well do Blogs operate in China? And, related question, how much problem do they have with spam? Presumably, if they've been able to do a deal with G*ogle on their search function, they may have solutions to unwanted email activity?

  3. At 11:52 AM on 07 Feb 2007, Charles Farns Barns wrote:

    Hello Mr Mair

    Question for Mr Sykes please.

    What's the health care provision like in China these days? Do the people have a good health service? How does it work?

  4. At 11:59 AM on 07 Feb 2007, ian wrote:

    Hugh's on next?

  5. At 12:34 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Susan Orty-Boyden wrote:


    Can you use chop sticks?

  6. At 12:51 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Rufus A B wrote:

    Is Tara (top producer) V. tall or is the train standing in a hole?

  7. At 12:52 PM on 07 Feb 2007, lady-from-auchtermuchty. wrote:

    Mr Sykes,

    Have you seen anything with 'Made in England' on it whilst you've been there?

  8. At 12:58 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Deepthought wrote:

    What, if anything, are the Chinese doing or planning to do regarding sea level rise. With so many large cities literally on the waterfront, are they not worried?

  9. At 12:59 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Another one for Hugh: What have you observed about the rich-poor divide in China? Is it ever-widening as with most other countries, and are there any provisions in place to protect/support the most vulnerable of the country?

  10. At 01:00 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Can you please have someone whistle the Chinese National Anthem to accompany your reports. Something similar was done on the French report and it was a treat!

    On a serious note, are there any obvious signs of poverty in the cities you have visited?

  11. At 01:03 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Terry Cotta wrote:


    Use one word to describe China.

  12. At 01:07 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    lady-from-auchtermuchty: (1) Surely you mean Made in Scotland? (2) When we lived in South Africa, to our amusement we found that some of the 'genuine' items bought from Zulu villages were, in fact, stamped 'Made in Birmingham'. :o)

  13. At 01:14 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Kate O'Mara wrote:

    What's the weather like?

  14. At 01:19 PM on 07 Feb 2007, silver-fox wrote:

    Mr Sykes,

    Who was the first samurai?

  15. At 01:21 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Lee Vitout wrote:

    Did you know that in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off"?

  16. At 01:25 PM on 07 Feb 2007, lady-from-auchtermuchty. wrote:

    Big Sister @ (Thirteen-ish)

    I know what I mean. :o)

  17. At 01:26 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I posted this yesterday - it did eventually appear, but am reposting here 'cos it will get lost in all the backblog otherwise ...

    Off piste message to Froggers:

    I've sent to Jonnie the lovely doggie musings from last month, collated but not really edited. There may be some I've missed, in which case I apologise, and it may be that other dogfroggers may want to say a bit more. Do feel free.

    Jonnie will try to find a place to post on the 'alternative' website http://www.pmblog.co.uk/index.html, set up by the froggers, as a storeroom and playground off the BBC blog.

    I've suggested to him, and I hope you agree, that any froggers who'd like to send in their dog photos should feel free to do so for inclusion on the doggie testaments, which I suggest we name Fido's Corner (in honour of Fido's Run on the Beach).

  18. At 01:33 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Yo, Lee! Where've you been, dude?

  19. At 01:43 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Logan Powell wrote:

    Speaking of countries supporting other countries that disregard human rights what about the US's support of China? This country has a long continuing history of humans rights abuses including religious intollerance, Tibetan oppression, deep rooted media suppression and censorship, displacement of 1/2 a million innocent people for the Three Gorges Damn. The list goes on...

  20. At 01:55 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    I'm trying to look at the picture of the airport concourse on the previous thread, but it's giving me a headache. Nothing is upright. Too many slopes in that picture......

    (Runs for cover).


  21. At 02:00 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Lee: I did wave to you, but for the strangest of reasons it didn't appear.

    If this gets through, what's the betting the original posting will also get through?

    And, dear Lee, I've noticed that you often appear in the company of Kate O'Mara. Are you 'an item'?

  22. At 02:06 PM on 07 Feb 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    One, two. One, two... is this thing on?

    Questions for Hugh about China:

    1) Can I put my china tea-set in the dishwasher?

    (Rather, if I got a china tea set, could I put it in the dishwasher?)
    ((If I got a dishwasher, of course.))

    2) Is it true that if every person in China jumped up and down at the same time, at least one of them would fall over?

    3) (Serious one) What are Chinese radio stations like? If I could understand Mandarin, would I find what I heard in any way familiar? e.g. is there a Chinese John Humphries or Terry Wogan?
    (Obviously Eddie's unique...)

  23. At 02:14 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Little Miss Poppy wrote:


    Did you know on the PM Blog Extra. Eddie's photo is not quite as sharp. He looks a bit ruddy and plump, with a pair of cheeks like a trumpeter?

  24. At 02:52 PM on 07 Feb 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Have the chinese developed a taste for 4WD's yet?

    Are they able to listen to the BBC via the web (or any other way) or is it banned? Anyone listen to PM?

  25. At 02:53 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Another question for Hugh:

    Can you send a replacement Frog Prince to us when Marc's with you in the Crockery Department?

  26. At 03:03 PM on 07 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    He doesn't look exactly as he should on this one 'Little Miss Poppy !

  27. At 03:10 PM on 07 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    second attempt - sorry if I repeat myself....

    what does the smog smell like?

  28. At 03:11 PM on 07 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Does the smog smell of anything in particular?

  29. At 03:20 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Carl wrote:


    It's all very good Hugh!
    When are you coming back?

  30. At 03:29 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    GM, re 4WDs, Did you see the story yesterday about the research published recently which shows many 4WDs to be inherently unstable? Something which has struck me. Some models have a centre of gravity which is too high to be safe, especially if in an accident involving safety (crash) barriers. And they're much more likely to 'roll' than other vehicles.

    I always knew there was a reason why ....

  31. At 03:33 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Hugh the Hack wrote:

    Big Sister asks about blogs in China.

    There are around 18 million bloggers here.

    Reporters Sans Frontieres says there are more than fifty Chinese bloggers in gaol.

    Many, many websites are simply blocked. bbcnews.com is totally inaccessible from China, unless you have the code for a 'mirror' site.

    The BBC's Mandarin Service is jammed.


    Charles Farns Barns - Chinese health care.

    Collapsing apparently. Quite good care in the cities, but desperate shortage of medical staff and facilities in rural areas. TB and hepatitis B and infant mortality are all getting worse not better.


    Belinda: Yes, I have observed the rich-poor divide. It is huge, and widening. It is a growing cause of resentment, and unrest. I have a sense that the super-affluence of parts of Shanghai - where beautiful people sip cocktails as beggars walk the ice-cold winter streets nearby -is verging on the decadent.


    Kate: It was c-o-o-o-l-d when I arrived here (zero at night in Shanghai, and restaurants are mostly unheated so Tara and sat eating with our coats on), but these past few days have been lovely and warm (up to 24 C one afternoon).


    Helen Sparkles asks what Tara's Top Team is having for dinner.

    Tonight it was linguine al aglio and a Coke for the boss and a Tsing Tao beer for me - suddenly we both craved Italian pasta.

    Usually we eat Chinese; lunch yesterday was kebabs from a street stall, total cost for the two of us about 50 pence.

    Lunch today was a huge bowl of very spicy soup full of beans and tomatoes and mushrooms and scrambled egg, with rice (9 Yuan, which is about 60p)

    Tara and I are both coffee addicts - and real coffee is ludicrously expensive here; eg £2 for a double espresso.

    and, yes Susan I can (and do) use chop sticks.

    Zai Zhen! (byeee)

  32. At 04:03 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Thank you, Hugh and Susan, for fitting us into your busy schedule. It is fascinating to get these insights into life in 21st century China.

  33. At 04:17 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Carl wrote:

    Looking at Hugh's 'window on the Chinese world'... what hope do we have? Britain has had it. I bet you don't come back Hugh.

  34. At 04:17 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I've just realised that, in my posting of thanks to Hugh, I referred to Susan. I meant, of course, Tara's Team.

  35. At 05:48 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Lee Vitout wrote:

    Lovely Big Sister,

    I only have eyes for you.:-)

  36. At 05:50 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Lee Vitout wrote:

    Lovely Big Sister,

    I only have eyes for you.:-)

  37. At 07:05 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Hey Lee! When did you go off me then?! I seem to recall that your postcard last October 17th (my birthday) was for both of us!!! What have I done?!

  38. At 09:19 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Hugh - did you travel first class on the plane out to China? If not, why not?

    Have they still got those temperature monitor thingies you walk through at the airports, to see if you've got bird flu? (They had them in Hong Kong last year, I remember. Daren't even get a cold abroad now or you won't be allowed on the plane)

    Have you eaten anything you couldn't recognise, only to be told afterwards what it was & wish you hadn't eaten it?

    Are you pining for potatoes?

    Did you read Paul Theroux' "Riding the Iron Rooster" before you went? (About crossing China by train). If not, read it when you get home. Highly recommended.

  39. At 09:26 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Christine McMillan wrote:

    Question for Hugh.

    How is the Government getting on with the attempt to encourage the Chinese not to spit in public in order to 'educate' them before the Olympics?

    Sincerely Chris (a PM listener who can't wait for her own holiday to China in March)

  40. At 09:36 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Christine McMillan wrote:

    Question for Hugh

    How is the National Government getting on educating the Chinese about spitting in public?

    Sincerely Mrs Chris McMillan

  41. At 10:26 PM on 07 Feb 2007, Molly wrote:


    Very interesting-all those facts.

    But do you get a decent breakfast in your hotel?

    I do think that it sets you up for the day, don't you?

    Do tell....


  42. At 12:21 AM on 08 Feb 2007, Christina Tyree wrote:

    Questions for Hugh:

    Are they still teaching the children from Chairman Mao's little red book ? has the navy blue "uniform" and white shirt everyone used to wear gone forever ? are there still a lot of people on bikes ? The ITN week in China seemed to show masses of smog and everyone wanting cars, is this mainly the cities ? are there cars in the countryside ? do people still work in Paddi fields ?

    Take care & have a good trip.

  43. At 10:06 AM on 08 Feb 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Hugh, you're doing a great job. Is there much of a police or military presence in the places you've visited?

  44. At 05:14 PM on 08 Feb 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    V.glad Molly is as interested in food as I am! Thanks for letting us/me know Hugh, somehow it is a fascinating part of the fabric of life, which is so varied from country to country.

This post is closed to new comments.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.