Book Review: Hawkins, Sagan, Zinn and Thompson

I have been tearing through books recently, due to my snazzy iPad Mini. I did a review a couple weeks ago, and I like that type of post, so here goes another one, this time 4 (5?) books and not three. I will review the first three here, and then do the last two – […]

A True Belief

Tom from Seeing Red in China pointed out some China Quarterly essays and one of them is the inspiration for this essay … Few of China’s problems seem so intractable as the issue of the Chinese soul and what morals are available to guide it in the 21st century. The whole concept of a soul […]

China-US Cold War and what we can do about it

Can it be denied that the US is actively engaging China’s border nations in an attempt to contain and control China? It seems pretty clear to most observers that such was the case years ago – Kissinger commented on the idea of containment back in 2005 – but with the recent moves in Myanmar and […]

Excerpts from an Interview with Luo Fahui

This is a companion piece to ChengduLiving’s Portrait of a Chengdu Artist: Luo Fa Hui. Here I put together some excerpts from an interview back in October. Stay tuned next week for more Chengdu artist love, both here and at ChengduLiving.com On China’s Future: -有希望。中国朝着良性方向发展,不是以前那样封闭。现在我们很多人,都有机会和权贵坐在一起。这是大趋势,不是一个政党可以控制的,所以这个是个很大的希望。现在慢慢的改变,慢慢开始尊重人权,尊重人的思想,自由度,精神上的,越来越宽。首先是看着这30年的变化,亲身体会,当年是怎么样,现在是怎么样,随便怎么比。 There’s hope. China’s is moving forward in a good direction, […]

Agents of Conformity

Today I read Murong Xuecun’s speech given in Oslo. The things he described in his speech are clearly happening all around us and I have rarely, if ever, met a Chinese who will dispute much of what he said. In fact, most of the conversations that end up dealing with the woes of China are […]

Ai Wei Wei, prepare for martyrdom

It’s hard to watch a good man go down, but that is exactly what I find myself doing everyday now since Ai Wei Wei’s battle with the Chinese government took over the front pages of a lot of the mainstream media and China related blogs. He is a heroic figure and, for Westerners, his return […]

Why I came to China …

I walked into the Minneapolis Institute of Arts one day way back in 1998 and saw this massive hunk of jade. It had been commissioned by Emperor Qianlong himself to be carved according to the ancient 4th century poem, “Prelude to the Orchid Pavilion,” by Wang Xi Zhi, one of China’s greatest calligraphers. As soon […]

The death of traditions

It is so hot and humid in Chengdu right now that my brain is bathing in its own liquid, humming strange tunes to itself and sending me images of massive artillery guns firing into the distance. Spengler is a columnist for Asia Times who has derided the Europeans for lacking the courage to face the […]