How terrible a place is Beijing?

Judging by the lengths the government is going to make Beijing a “nice” place — pretty terrible! Here are some emergency measures being taken to turn this city around for the two weeks APEC will be in town: Pollution: Government officials have promised nice air for APEC, by closing factories and kicking people out of […]

Happy in Beijing

Every so often, a new music video for Beijing — from Shin’s One Night in Beijing, to the 2008 Olympics anthem Beijing Welcomes You, to last year’s Beijing State of Mind —  crops up to showcase the culture and various lifestyles in our fair city. This latest one, by Stephy Chung, is by far my […]

2013, reviewed

Now that it’s a new year, we can look back on the old year! The main question is, of course, how many blue sky days did we have? According to statistics for the year released by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, which ranks each day from 1 to 6 (highest level of pollution), 176 days […]

Expats love China most

Or so this survey says. The Wall Street Journal reports: [China] ranked No. 1 overall among 37 countries as a destination for expats in an HSBC Holdings PLC survey released earlier this week, edging out Germany, Singapore and the Cayman Islands. Its surveys ranked China No. 2 out of 37 countries in terms of beneficial […]

The drought in Yunnan

Today I came across an alarming article on the Scientific American website about the environmental degradation of Yunnan, which I visited for a few short days in 2011. At that time, I did not know — and certainly our tour guide didn’t mention — that the province was in the middle of a serious drought, […]

Beijing v Shanghai, Round 2308

Man, Beijing never comes out on top: 北京人:“我们北京人最幸福,打开窗子就有免费的烟。” 上海人:“那算什么,我们打开自来水就是排骨汤!” (在新浪微博被删除) — Kai-Fu Lee (@kaifulee) March 13, 2013 Translation: “Beijinger: ‘We Beijingers are the luckiest, we can open our windows and get free cigarettes.’ Shanghainese: “That’s nothing, we turn on our faucets and get pork chop soup!’” Previous AP story: Dead pigs found in Shanghai river […]