Mass Murderer, Father of the Nation or Both?

In September, a Hong Kong magazine published a Chinese-language edition of “Mao: the Unknown Story” by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday,  the 2005 book that rewrites the history of the Great Helmsman, calling him the biggest butcher of the 20th century and holding him responsible for the death of 70 million of his own people…

China and the Pilot Fish to the South

Southern China’s balmy Nanning, a city of pell-mell construction, tower cranes and heavy industry with a dash of pleasant riverside, is busy sprucing up for worldwide fame when leaders and lackeys from Beijing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) jet in to officially commemorate 15 years of relations on 30 October. Don’t expect…

Going Upstream

The explosion of cross-border manufacturing that began the capitalist revolution in China’s Pearl River Delta almost 30 years ago appears to be a victim of its own success.  Guangdong authorities are seeking to drive out a large proportion of the 70,000-odd small manufacturers that crossed the border in the wake of China’s historic 1978 opening…

Lost Son of China

One wet Sunday morning in the winter of 1958, a grandmother in a modest house in the north Taiwan town of Hsinchu called her teenage twin grandsons to her side and, her face covered in tears, showed them a crumpled photograph of a young woman. “This is your mother, she died so young,” she said.…