Going French, via China

Back when I went to Chinese lessons, my small class included a Spaniard and a Russian. The class was taught mostly in Chinese, but we used an English textbook. I understand English is widely spoken all over the world, but it still impressed me how many expats learned Chinese through English, not necessarily their native […]

How laws work in China: An illustration

I have a love-hate relationship with Chinese laws. 国务院办公厅印发贯彻落实国务院关于进一步做好利用外资工作若干意见部门分工方案的通知 Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Issuing the Plan on the Division of Work among Departments to Implement the Several Opinions of the State Council on Further Doing a Good Job in the Utilization of Foreign Investment (Translated title here, here and […]

A special Monday

Rumor has it that Li Changchun was in the building today. Boss informed us this morning that the building elevators would be out of service around 10 a.m. because a very senior official would be visiting. Shortly thereafter, we observed from our sixth floor window an armada of shiny black sedans and SUVs and beige […]

A productive day at the office

In a country of 1 billion people, productivity needs to be kept low and responsibilities divided up into the smallest tasks possible so that more people can be employed, which goes a long way in producing the ever-elusive harmonious society. This is why, despite having so many people, China’s per capita GDP is still below […]

Insight into Chinese minds?

At work, we get these really awful opinion submissions. They are awful for mainly two reasons: Illogical application or interpretation of presented evidence (not to mention, questionable selection of evidence for argument) Absence of a clearly stated opinion that isn’t a generic “the government should do more to promote x” or “there should be equality […]

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 […]