White Christmas, Red Alerts

It’s another white Christmas in Beijing, probably the whitest one we’ve had. Usually you can see the towers of the Central Business District in the picture above, but not today! City authorities have issued an orange alert – only the second-highest rating on the smog chart – so it’s not so newsworthy in the eyes […]

China cliches and the power of propopanda

Benjamin Carlson recently made a list of five Communist Party catchphrases commonly used in writings on China. They are: Referring to China’s “century of humiliation” Crediting the government with “lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty” Needlessly referring to China’s “5,000 years of history” Calling China’s supreme leader “the president” Referring to free thinkers as […]

Chinese cities

From the FP Cities issue, two opposing views of Chinese cities: 1) They’re all the same, says Isaac Stone Fish in “Unlivable Cities”: Why are Chinese cities so monolithic? The answer lies in the country’s fractured history. In the 1930s, China was a failed state: Warlords controlled large swaths of territory, and the Japanese had […]