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China halts U.S. academic freedom at the class door, from Bloomberg, was the better of two excellent pieces this week on the topic of joint-managed colleges in China (the other being No academic freedom for China). This piece generated a lot of discussion about education, and one friend who actually studies at the school mentioned that the article should have also examined discussions in the classrooms that are actually much freer than she had expected. Hepatitis C outbreak hits Anhui, Henan, from Caixin, is an in depth look at how lax regulations and the recycling of used needles at local clinics led to over 110 people being infected. Supposedly this problem was fixed nearly a decade ago. This coming out near World AIDS Day is a […]


So one part of the Christmas tradition that we look forward to every year is the annual battle over the materialistic aspects Christmas has taken on. Sadly, you can’t even avoid it by coming to China. This weeks story of the week is about extravagant Christmas dinners that are becoming fashionable for China’s super rich. I’m so glad that at least we still have the expectation of staying home with family on Christmas instead of going out to a $500/person meal. Next week we’ll be looking closer at Christmas in China, and I promise pictures of all the terrible knock off Santa stuff.


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 […]


Yesterday I wrote about the health effects of pollution on the general Chinese population. (from a Photo essay on pollution in China) Today I am going to look at the question: Where does all this pollution come from? Which has an easy answer – Coal burning power plants, coal heated homes, and coal roasted sweet potatoes. The coal roasted sweet potatoes aren’t a joke sadly, they are a common sight throughout China. In Guangxi many restaurants used cement buckets with coal bricks for cooking. In a matter of minutes my entire respiratory system would stage a protest, and I would have to run out with my nose running, coughing like I had just been tear gassed. This embarrassing reaction only happens to foreigners since all […]


Pollution is something that has really become a concern for me here in Nanjing. The main reason for this is that I have had a sore throat and cough for about 3 months, and after x-rays and blood tests I have been declared healthy, even though I feel far from that. I blame pollution for this, since that seems to make more sense than the ideas my co-workers have come up with. One thought it was because I work in a hospital, which isn’t the worst idea, except that I am not even in the same building as patients. Another thought was that I don’t wash my hands enough, which simply isn’t true, thoroughly washing my hands like a surgeon while wearing my doctor’s coat […]


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