Looking for Love

One of the most popular soap operas in China can’t be watched on CCTV or even a television. Instead it’s found on the popular China blog, Danwei.org as well as on YouTube, where the short, wryly funny episodes of Sexy Bejing record the ups and downs of a Twenty-something Jewish-American woman’s search for love in…

Goodbye to all that

Yangshuo's oppressive summer heat may have given way to autumn breezes, but over on the charming cobblestone alley of Chenzhong Road (just off the crowded tourist hub of West Street), Johnny Lu is having a hard time enjoying the cooler weather. His new shop, Yangshuo's only café & second-hand bookstore, though stocked with thousands of…

Memories are Made of This

When it’s a slow, lazy Sunday in Shenzhen and the wallet is running dry, my Chinese girlfriend Catherine and I opt for a low budget picnic and some “wedding spotting” in Hongshulin nature reserve, a coastal park that features acres of manicured rough grass, fledging trees, a seaside view of Hong Kong across the water…

When Will the Party End?

In 1976, Mao Zedong died, leaving China destitute. Shopping was a dreary chore, more space than stock filled shelves. Choice was almost unheard of because there was no competition, just control and command. Today, however, China’s supermarkets brim, the choices as dizzying as any in Europe or Japan. A big dash of capitalism then has…

Look For the Union Label

The blossoming labor movement in China, which in September claimed the scalp of the world’s biggest retailer, is a direct result of government concern about rising worker unrest that has sparked hundreds of disturbances a day across the country. Surprising just about everybody including the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which pulled it off, Wal-Mart…

Comrade Condom

In his unremarkable 22-year life, which ended ingloriously in 1962 when a PLA comrade accidentally backed a truck into a power pole that fell and crushed him, Lei Feng wanted to be nothing more than a selfless "revolutionary screw that never rusts." The Fengster, a man celebrated as a revolutionary icon of Maoist China for…

The Great Wall Goes Missing

William Lindesay has documented the danger facing China’s Great Wall in a series of stunning photographs. After digging up photographs and drawings made over the past 200 years, Lindesay has gone back to the same spot and retaken the same image. After recounting his 2,470 km trek along remains of the Wall, in the 1989…

China Makes Friends in the Gulf

As the United States has stumbled from crisis to crisis in the Middle East earning a reputation for war mongering and callousness, China has quietly but rapidly been widening and extending its links, becoming a new player and substantially upgrading economic ties, especially in the Persian Gulf. For a country relatively new to the nuances…

A World Awash in Dangerous Liquidity

It should perhaps be no surprise that given that the US Treasury Secretary was until recently head of one of the world’s most highly leveraged financial institutions. Leverage is king in the world of funny money promoted by Hank Paulson and the vastly overpaid glitterati of Goldman Sachs and its ilk. But in all the…

The Changing Roles of Women in Asia — From Bedroom to Boardroom

Finally women were being recognized for their contributions both to the communist victory and to society in general. They were now supposedly free from many outdated traditions and laws. But Chairman Mao forgot to mention that women, besides holding up their half of the sky also had to juggle education, marriage, absent husbands, child and…