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Weekend Watching and Reading: China and Russia, Putin and XiJinping, the possibilities are ENDLESS!

-America is very afraid.
'Catching the Chinese wind in Russia's economic sails'. That is what Russia's President Vladimir Putin says he is aiming to do. He is currently signing cooperation agreements with the new Chinese leader, after landmark talks in Moscow. Shee Jinping picked Russia for his first trip abroad, since taking office earlier this month. Raffaello Pantucci, co-founder of the Young China Watchers professional network, talks to RT about the growing partnership between Russia and China.

Chinese leader bolsters Russian ties on first foreign trip - The Globe and Mail:

In lavish reception, Putin greets China president -

China's new leader Xi Jinping has arrived in Moscow for his first overseas trip since becoming president.

He described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a good friend he could speak openly with.

The two leaders are holding talks focusing on energy and investment.
Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier Walker reports from Moscow.

President Xi Jinping has left Beijing for state visits to Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo.

Xi Jinping is abroad at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, South African President Jacob Zuma and President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso.

During his time in Russia, Xi Jinping will inaugurate the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia in 2013, and deliver a speech at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He will also attend the fifth leaders' summit of BRICS countries in South Africa. The Summit will be held from March the 26th to 27th in Durban.


3 VIDEOS: Beckham Speaks in China, Plays Football at a Beijing Middle School and Woos Chinese Fans

-How many times do you hear AMBASSADOR? 

David Beckham arrived in Beijing on Wednesday (20th March) to start his role in China as a football ambassador to help develop young players as the country tries to clean up its soccer image after a spate of corruption scandals.

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David Beckham:
""Well, I am not a politician. So anything that has gone on the past has nothing to do with me, but what's going on in the future will have something to do with me. So I am proud to be part of the grassroots policy and project that going to go on in the future and that's going to be my role."

David Beckham:
"This trip is nothing to do with the brand (of mine). This trip is about the development of the game for young children and for the league and that's why I am here. You know to be able to be offered to be an ambassador here for the game, I am very proud of it. I've had great relationship over the years with Chinese people. Every time I visit China it's been incredible. Like I said before, I've been welcomed with open arms and that's what the trip is about, me as an ambassador and the football. That's it."

David Beckham:
"Right now I am playing football for free in Paris and I am here as an ambassador, there are no figure attached and I am just here as an ambassador, I am here as a person that trying to raise the profile of the game here and to be part of something that could be very special in the future. So right now I am very happy to be here."

David Beckham took off his suit jacket and played football with students in Beijing on Wednesday.

The former England star drew large crowds in Beijing as he took part in a kickabout to promote China's Super League and the country's youth football programme.


Highlights of Chinese Artwork at Christie's NY Asian Art Week

-Wow. Half a million for a vase? 

A stunning yellow vase sets the theme for the 2013 Asian Art Week at Christie's New York.

[Michael Bass, Christie's Chinese Works of Art Department Co-Head]:
"This is a really wonderful piece. It's one of only two known...This piece comes from the Springfield Art Museum."

Michael Bass is the co-head of the Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Department. He talks about its unique qualities.

[Michael Bass, Christie's Chinese Works of Art Department Co-Head]:
"It dates to the Qianlong period. We know this because on the base of it, it's inscribed with the mark of the Qianlong Emperor, in seal script."

[Michael Bass, Christie's Chinese Works of Art Department Co-Head]:
"This one shows a very rare combination of yellow glaze, which of course, yellow is the imperial color. And it's combined here with under-glaze blue cobalt decoration. So a very rare combination, probably very difficult to achieve since it was not used very often." They further decorated the yellow glaze area with incised design with dragons...So you've the front-faced dragon, kind of confronting this flaming pearl right here. And over here, is a side-facing dragon striding and looking at the flamed pearl."

The vase is expected to fetch more than its estimated value of $500,000 US dollars. It is part of the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art collection on offer on the last two days of Asian Art Week.

[Noah Kupferman, Christie's Chinese Works of Art Department Co-Head]:
"We have four sales and five catalogues. You walked by through the lobby gallery the Lizzardro Collection of finely carved jade and Chinese works of art. ... Then we'll be moving into our private single owner sale collection of snuff bottles, the Schonfeld Collection, and then we have our Parts One and Two of Chinese works of art."

This bronze wine container is also expected to be popular with buyers.

[Michael Bass, Christie's Department Chinese Works of Art Co-Head]: "This bronze vessel which is called a fangyi. It dates to the Late Shang Dynasty 12th to 11th century BC. .. This was one of the vessel shapes that were used by the aristocracy in worship to the ancestors... So they made offering of food and wine. And this is a wine vessel—to contain wine. It dates to the period when the Shang capital is in Anyang. It's considered the high point of Shang casting."

Bronze was the most precious metal of the period.

[Michael Bass, Christie's Department Chinese Works of Art Co-Head]:
"Bronze was the commodity of the elite, the royalty that would use them for ritual sacrifices."

The vessel is estimated to fetch between $800,000 and 1.2 million dollars. Bass says this is a reasonable price.

[Michael Bass, Christie's Department Chinese Works of Art Co-Head]:
"You know this is one of the elite vessel shapes. ... The proportion of the pieces is just very elegant, very strong. It has beautiful size, a very interesting shape, very fine casting with these mysterious masks on there. You can see these masks with the two eyes, the horns. It's like the upper jaw and the horns of the mask. It's called the Taotie mask, which is thought to ward off evil."

Another highlight is this glass vase.

[Michael Bass, Christie's Department Chinese Works of Art Co-Head]:
"It's really an exceptional rare vase. (0:28s) We know that this vase dates to the Qianlong period because it's inscribed on the base with the mark of the Qianlong Emperor."

It shows what top artisans could do during that period.

[Michael Bass, Christie's Department Chinese Works of Art Co-Head]:
"This piece was made in the Imperial Glass Works. It chose a very difficult technique of creating such as a piece. You'd have to blow the vase, and then you'd have to apply the colors in located areas, and cover around it to produce these designs in a cameo-like effect. ... And so, very difficult, you couldn't make any mistakes with this kind of material."

Bass explains the significance in the use of motifs.

[Michael Bass, Christie's Department Chinese Works of Art Co-Head]:
"This piece was carved with archaistic dragons, and scrolling dragons along here. And again, archaistic designs herald the past. The Qing Emperors would kind of refer to these pieces to kind of legitimize their association with ruling China because they're actually Manchurians, and not Han Chinese. So you see a lot of archaistic decorations at this time."

The sale also includes Chinese Jade pieces and a collection of Qing Dynasty snuff bottles. Christie's is the world's leading art business, with total sales in 2011 amounting to almost Six billion US dollars.


Bamboo Scrolls and Warrior Swords: 5 Crazy China Related Items You Can Purchase on Amazon

Chinese Characters Popular Themes (Love, Luck, Joy, Etc.) 10" Quiet Wall Clock Good Decor and Good Gift for Special Day
-This clock looks so cool and it's also translated. When people ask what time it is... you can say it's half past peace or a quarter to love! Click above for more info!

Forged Warrior Chinese War Sword With Sheath
-Freak your WuShu classmates with this awesome REAL Warrior sword.  They'll think it's fake but one touch and they'll know it's real! Click above for more info!

Rare 1102-1106 A.D. Large Chinese Coin of the Northern Sung Dynasty Ch'ung Ning Reign (Schjoth #621) in Chinese Silk Brocade Pouch

-You can find tons of these on the streets for sale in China but who wants to do that?  Order yours from Amazon and save TONS! Click above for more info!

Made In The Usa - Uncle Goose Chinese Character Blocks (32 pcs)
-High quality wooden blocks completely changes the concept of blocks with the alphabet on them. Now there are Chinese characters!  Your child will learn as they play! Click above for more info!

Collectable Bamboo Scroll (Carving in English/Chinese on double sided bamboo scroll, size 55.2" x 9.0") : Tao Te Ching
-Who wants to read an old fashioned page turning book when you can read an authentic bamboo scroll!  Be just as confused and enlightened by the Dao De Jing on bamboo as you are on paper!  Click above for more info!


Some Great Highlights from Shanghai Shenhua vs. Shanghai Shenxin Football Game

-Gotta love the announcers! 

Shanghai Shenxin (home) - blue
Shanghai Shenhua (away) - white

Goal: Patricio Toranzo


SNL Tech Talk: Techies Complain about iPhones and the Chinese Workers Fight Back!

-Gotta love the erhu she whips out! 

On this episode of Tech Talk, a panel of experts reviews the flaws of the new iPhone 5 until more unexpected guests show up.


Mandarin Study: Transformers Original Cartoon in Chinese!

-2 episodes for your enjoyment! 

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