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The Spratlys resurface

In late October and early November, Beijing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) tried to re-launch friendly talks related to the territorial disputes of the Spratly Islands, a series of s...
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The Devil and the Dollar

The dollar fell 2% against the yen last week and is at a 19-month low against the euro and appears set to go lower. Several Asian currencies, even including the Philippine peso, are at their best levels sin...
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The Rising Dragon’s Environmental Disaster

Reprinted by arrangement with the National Geographic Society from the book Dragon Rising: An Inside Look at China Today By Jasper Becker. Copyright 2006 Jasper Becker. So far it is China’s search to secure supplies of oil that is affecting t...
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Lenovo’s Long March

So far as the outside world was concerned, Hong Kong-listed Lenovo (previously Legend, and referred to in this book by its Chinese name of Lianxiang) came almost from nowhere in 2004 to buy IBM’s mone...
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Teach Your Children

The apartment complex in which C and I cohabit is cutting edge by Shenzhen standards. Cosmopolitan even, with its parking garage, fake mini-Venetian "canals," swanky outdoor pool, badminton and ho...
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The Rising Dragon’s Environmental Disaster

Its nose-curling stench hits you even before you see the floating carpet of green algae and a dense matting of water hyacinth. Once a beauty spot praised by poets, Dianchi Lake, around Kunming, the capital of subtropical Yunnan province, shows the cost to ...
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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 episod...
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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 havin...
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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 man...
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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....