One China, multiple views

Sometimes, you can read a really interesting and informative post about China that takes a more nuanced approach to figuring out what exactly China is and isn’t. For an example, see this blog post about the slew of punishments handed out recently, over the holidays, to political activists. It argues that China isn’t necessarily cracking […]

The AP, China and taxes

It’s not unusual to find misleading, distorted stories in the media. It’s also not unusual for me to wave off the distortions, because, well, I know better and I can glean something from the story anyway. Today, however, I want to direct you to this AP story about foreigners in China squeezed by pensions, taxes. […]

The obligatory Tiger Mom post

Well, I am the daughter of Chinese parents, which I think gives me some sort kind of authority on this issue. The opinion article by Amy Chua, which came with the incendiary headline, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” appeared Jan. 8 — almost two weeks ago — right before her memoir from which the article […]

When good equals bad

This is apropos of nothing. Coming from a background of both journalism and political science, I am still completely bewildered by how there is so much misinformation out there concerning our political (i.e., social) affairs. I rant a lot about how the Chinese government and media are so adept at muddling facts that it’s almost […]

On language

You’ve probably seen the article on how language might influence the way we approach the world in this past weekend’s New York Times Magazine. Basically, it said our mother tongue forces us to pay attention to certain details based on the way it is used. For example, as anyone who has ever learned a European […]

Taiwan at the WTTC’s annual conference

Summits are not my thing. Even as much as I love travelling, the World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual get-together in Beijing these few days is just a bit dry and (save for a few interesting reports) unenlightening. Where’s anything about eco-tourism? Voluntourism? They did talk a lot about sustainability and doing environmentally-friendly things (especially […]

Freedom of speech

Stanley Fish has a good blog post at the Times, where he discusses two approaches to the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election commission. Basically, the SC ruled 5-4 to overturn bans on corporate political spending, including McCain-Feingold. The case […]

China’s disappearing middle class

China Newsweek’s last issue focused on China’s “disappearing” middle class. Leave it to China to mis-characterize or misinterpret a particularly strange phenomenon — the rise in the cost of living in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. The gist of it goes like this: The middle class — which includes small business owners, business/financial people, […]