Monthly Archives: October 2008


  • Chinese Haunts
    Let's get this straight: tonight you will allow your children to gad about after dark, impersonating evil spirits and begging neighbors for sweetmeats? With no attendant loss of face? A wonderful thing, western culture - so free, so capricious, a


  • A New Statue for Chairman Mao
    You may have heard they called Chairman Mao the Great Helmsman. The epithet is exceedingly apt, if one extends it to a mental image of a massive, ragged ship.


  • China Road
    "Hi everyone, my name's Jim. I've been an Orientalist since 2005. ["Hi Jim."] I guess it all started about two days after I got to Beijing, when I took my first bicycle hutong tour.


  • Gansu's Children of Caesar
    Even in these globetrotting times, getting from Shanghai to the Gobi Desert is seen as an arduous haul. Now imagine getting there from Rome, on foot, more than two thousand years ago.


  • Beijing's Mind Games
    Opening Ceremonies of the World Mind Sports Games included pouring water into the conch of wisdomIt was the best of minds, it was the worst of times.


  • Eating Your Way Around Nanjing
    Qinhuai River at nightSo you've made your way to venerable Nanjing, and you're standing by the paifang at Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum. Mount Zijin, rising up behind it, seems more brown than purple.


  • A Quick Guide to Chinese Liquor
    "Only wine can soothe my sorrow. "-From the poem Duan'gexing by Cao CaoOK, we Chinese have been good sports. We've indulged your fanatical delusion that fermented grape juice is the pinnacle of gracious living.


  • Two Million Minutes
    Put on your thinking caps, gang, and test your scientific proficiency: Which of the following is not alive?A) A birdB) A handC) A rockD) A flowerE) A fishIf you picked ‘C', congratulations! You're on your way to high school in America, s


  • Old Business Means New Friendship for China and Russia
    "Extra! Extra!" REDS PRESS FIGHT ON CHINESE BORDER; AIR BOMBINGS SPREAD TERROR; MANCHURIA SEIZURE FEARED What a difference four score years makes. The foregoing appeared on the front page of the New York Times on September 11th, 1929, as Chines


  • Was the Chinese Phoenix actually an Ostrich ?
    By Chris Devonshire-Ellis Recent ornithological and archeological evidence has demonstrated that China once possessed, in Xinjiang Province, its very own species of Ostrich - (Struthio asiaticus), and that this long extinct bird may be the source of