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We’d Rather Not Say

The environmentalists who set out four years ago to get the world’s industrial giants to track and report their greenhouse gas emissions are running into trouble in Asia. Few companies – includi...
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China and Iran: New Friends

China's decision to send 1,000 soldiers to South Lebanon with the UNIFIL mission is the latest example of Beijing's increased involvement in the Middle East. The overall importance of the broader Midd...
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China’s Need for an Eternal Enemy

In what is being called a breakthrough in much of the world’s press, Shinzo Abe was received relatively warmly in Beijing in his first visit outside Japan as the country’s newly installed prime minister.  Driven together to some extent by ...
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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 Hel...
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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 fro...
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The East Is Praying

It’s 11 am on a Sunday morning and the church is rocking. Built in 2003, the 8,400-square-meter, ark-shaped, four-story house of worship can hold up to 2,000 believers and while about half as many are in the main worship hall, their religious fervor...
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Taxis – China’s Deep Throats

It is a miserable winter evening in Beijing, wet and freezing, and the taxi matches the mood – a rickety Charade, the floor covered in dust and the seatcover reeking of a hundred bottoms. We are ...
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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...
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Was Your IPod Made in a Sweatshop?

Quiz: what’s the biggest lie in China? The Great Wall can be seen from the moon. Mao Zedong was only 30% wrong in his rule Workers at a factory making IPods are forced to toil too hard From a strictly legal point of view, the answer is #3....
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Pirates of the Middle Kingdom?

There is a myth that Chinese people spend every evening glued to the screen watching pirated Hollywood DVDs. The myth is promoted by the LA studios and the video equivalents of the MP3-obsessed Recording In...