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From time to time people disagree with some of my thoughts on China. I welcome thoughtful comments, and one of my major motivations in starting this blog was seeing to what degree people agreed with my thoughts on the middle kingdom. That being said, there are a few excuses that I’m tired of hearing. We’ll be looking at a few of these over the next few days. The West doesn’t understand China It seems that you can’t read an opinion piece in the People’s Daily without bumping into phrases like “the West”, “Hegemony” and the idea that westerners just don’t get China. This feeling comes out of a sense of superiority/insecurity within China’s nationalist groups. When it comes to democracy and other topics that worry China’s […]


It was 2:28 in the afternoon when the 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck, it was felt as far away as Hanoi, but I didn’t notice it because I was running late to class. A few of the students who walked in late to class, still rubbing the sleep of their noon nap from their eyes, asked their classmates if they had felt the earthquake. Nobody knew what they were talking about, and so we continued our classes as usual. After class the news started to come in slowly. I remember the sickening feeling when I realized that every time I checked CNN’s website the death toll had risen, it had started at 10,000, but we knew that it would be much higher. It wasn’t until the […]


Each week I’m going to try to choose the one must read news article key for your understanding of all the ways in which China is changing as it adjusts to its new role in world affairs. As a person who reads too many news sites, I can tell you this week was really hard to pick. There was continuing tension in the Koreas, a certain prize being given out to a certain guy that we can’t talk about (I tried, and it didn’ go well), or new measures aimed at ending widespread corruption (which was the most exciting news of the week). Luckily I found this wonderful article from the New Yorker focused on the Top China Myths for 2010. It’s a great short […]


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