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China Change The lives of recent Chinese graduates – Does a university degree bring a better life?
A few weeks ago I sent a very brief survey to a class of my former students as a way of checking on their progress since graduation. Out of the 20+ students I sent the questions to, 9 replied. Those who did not reply may have been too busy to respond, or without internet (due to geography or poverty), or simply had no interest in participating. The [...] Keep reading »
China Change China’s well educated garbage men – Sorting through the waste of superfluous degrees
When you hear the words “migrant worker,” what kind of person comes to mind? Are they young or middle age? Are they poor? Are they educated? While “migrant worker” seems at first to describe a fairly uniform group of lowly occupations – factory and construction workers, aiyis, taxi drivers, etc. Their backgrounds are a [...] Keep reading »
China Change Preaching nationalism in an age of global citizens
China’s foreign policy of non-involvement seems to stem from the Confucian teaching to “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” For the Party, this means avoiding situations like what is currently happening in Syria, which if the UN had its way would see the ouster of a gov’t for slaughtering its own [...] Keep reading »
China Change Poor Economics and China’s 128 million people living in poverty
While China has raised hundreds of millions of people out of desperate poverty in the last 60 years, there are still 128 million people living on less that $1 per day (World Bank defines poverty as less than $1.25/day). This is actually 100 million more people than 2010, because the gov’t radically revised the definition of poverty which was [...] Keep reading »
China Change China should be aiming lower, not higher
Recently I had the chance to discuss the fascinating article, “The Sick Man of Asia” with the doctors at my hospital. The author, Huang Yanzhong, argues that despite China’s seemingly impressive gains in health over the past 60 years, they are lagging behind its economic growth. Furthermore, the author seems to argue that the aver [...] Keep reading »
China Change An irrational fear of crossing an invisible line
A recurring topic on the blog is that in China many things are sensitive, but nobody is actually certain what is on that list (as we saw yesterday). For instance, due to a strange turn of events, “Ferrari” was blocked on Weibo, while rumors of a coup in Beijing remained intact. This lack of clarity on what can and can’t be discuss [...] Keep reading »
China Change Putonghua – The struggle to unite China under a single language
As we saw yesterday, China is a diverse country with hundreds of distinct dialects/languages that are closely connected with local culture. However, for the past 100 years, the government has been encouraging the adoption of a single national dialect based on the Beijing accent. Originally, the language we know as Mandarin, was only spoken by offic [...] Keep reading »
China Change China weathered the economic storm with college enrollment and household consumption
Yesterday we started looking at some of the strategies China has used to weather the first financial downturn. Today we’ll continue that by looking at two other strategies as well as their potential benefits and costs. One of the major things that was supposed to happen after the economic downturn was that China was going to shift from being [...] Keep reading »
China Change So you want to work in China… – A guide for those looking to teach English in the Middle Kingdom
I’ve already received a handful of emails from blog readers asking for advice on finding work in China, and my wife received 2 from friends just in the last week. As teaching in China becomes more popular, so does tricking foreigners into working at awful schools. Today I’d like to give job hunters a few tips for finding a reputable s [...] Keep reading »
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