Mask of China: Frustration

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Aural pleasure: A foreign tourist gets his ears cleaned in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The ancient practice of ear cleaning is famous in Chengdu's public parks, where people also sip tea, play cards, catch up with old friends and even take naps; it's a very relaxing way to while away an afternoon.

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Frustration: The Chinese people have been facing rising food prices over the last year. The price of pork, the staple meat in China, has soared due to an outbreak of blue-ear disease leading to the culling of thousands of pigs. With rising commodity prices and wages and oil shortages reported around the country, inflation could worsen in the weeks and months to come.

Shrinking harbour: The Hong Kong government relies on land sales to add to its coffers. With little land available in the territory the government reclaims land from the sea. The beautiful Victoria Harbour is another victim to land reclamation as well as Central district's original Star Ferry pier which was dismantled earlier this year. With so much reclamation going on one day all that may be left of the harbour is a footbridge from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon.

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HK Stress: A recent business report stated that 30% of respondents said they were thinking about leaving Hong Kong altogether to avoid work related stress and the long work days that are typical of business life in Hong Kong.

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