“The” China Earthquake

It’s difficult to find anyone in Chengdu, a laidback city in central China known for its pandas and spicy food, who doesn’t know where they were at 2:28 p.m. on May 12, 2008. That's when a massive earthquake, one of the worst ever in China, left 87,000 people dead, 370,000 injured, and five million people … Continue reading “The” China Earthquake

Korea and China

A young Vietnamese man pulled out his phone and asked me if I knew about what was happening in Korea. He passed the device to me where the presidents of North Korea and South Korea were meeting on the border between the two countries. “I feel a lot safer now than I did a few … Continue reading Korea and China

The Catholic Church in China

At St. Francis Catholic Church in Xi’an, China, the congregation flowed out into the courtyard for Sunday Mass. Churchgoers include many young parents with children. The service lasted more than 90 minutes, including a sermon that ebbed and flowed for nearly 20 minutes. Each section of the church has one of the Ten Commandments written … Continue reading The Catholic Church in China

Trump’s Success in China

Did Chinese President Xi Jinping just blink in trade war stand-off with US? That exact headline comes from The South China Morning Post, a leading news organization in Hong Kong. I guess the U.S. media mavens who screamed about the dumb move Trump made against China had already turned their attention to the next round … Continue reading Trump’s Success in China

Space Jam

by baldilocks When potential World War Three (or Four) antagonists collide: The Center for Strategic and International Studies Friday released a report calling on officials to urgently pay attention to threats against US space systems and ground stations. The report, Space Assessment 2018, reviews open-source information on the counterspace activities of other countries, especially China, Russia, … Continue reading Space Jam

China under Xi Trigger Warnings Backed by Real Triggers

Apparently George Orwell's Classic Animal Farm is hitting too close to home for the new Communist Dictator in China: The Chinese government has banned George Orwell’s dystopian satirical novella Animal Farm and the letter ‘N’ in a wide-ranging online censorship crackdown. Experts believe the increased levels of suppression - which come just days after the Chinese Communist Party announced … Continue reading China under Xi Trigger Warnings Backed by Real Triggers

Trump one year later: The Deplorables knew all along

By John Ruberry "'Many are the strange chances of the world,' said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'" Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Simarillion. This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump's historic election to the presidency. Historic? Yes. Trump is first … Continue reading Trump one year later: The Deplorables knew all along

A Chinese Leap Forward?

The National Congress of the Communist Part of China, which sets the course of the nation’s leadership and policies every five years, opens next week during one of the most critical times in the relations with the United States. President Xi Jinping, [pronounced she] who will be elected to a second, five-year term, faces some … Continue reading A Chinese Leap Forward?

Trump vs North Korea & China: The Strong Horse Rides Again!

For the last two weeks the media's meme on the North Korean issue was a story of spectacle. We had the spectacle of North Korea making belligerent threats against the United States and specifically targeting the US territory of Guam and the spectacle of the media going after the Trump administration on North Korea and … Continue reading Trump vs North Korea & China: The Strong Horse Rides Again!

Dunhuang Doings: A Look at China’s Past, Present and Future

Dunhuang, China, is probably the most important city you’ve never heard of. Tucked into a corner of Northwest China, Dunhuang [pronounced DONE-hwong] was a major outpost on the famous Silk Road trading route and has become a symbol of the current government’s attempt to rebuild the image and the use of the international connection. Marco … Continue reading Dunhuang Doings: A Look at China’s Past, Present and Future

Chinese Clickbait: Pandas, An Ancient Buddha and Serious Sichuan Food

Sometimes you just have to chill out from the problems of the world. That's why I decided to travel on a whim to Chengdu, China. It's the capital of Sichuan Province, known for panda protection and procreation, the world's tallest Buddha sculpture and seriously hot food. There's good news on the panda front, although the … Continue reading Chinese Clickbait: Pandas, An Ancient Buddha and Serious Sichuan Food

Dragon Boats and Sticky Rice

China also celebrated a three-day holiday over the past weekend—a festival commemorating the story of a famous poet. People in Guangzhou, where I am teaching, packed the route along the tributaries of the Pearl River as more than 100 dragon boats cruised through the city. The festival is a memorial of the death of the poet … Continue reading Dragon Boats and Sticky Rice

Loosening the Belt in China

One of the most important events of the year happened last weekend in Beijing, but few U.S. news organizations gave much notice. President Xi Jinping and representatives of more than 100 other countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, got together to hash out how to spend nearly $1 trillion—that’s … Continue reading Loosening the Belt in China

China’s Long Game

Xi’an, the former capital of mainland China, may be the best example of the country’s heart, power, history and future of the country. Emperor Qin [pronounced chin] Shi Huang unified China in the Third Century B.C, making Xi’an [pronounced she-ON], the country’s most important city for roughly 1,500 years. During his reign, his generals greatly … Continue reading China’s Long Game

My Personal Asia Pivot

For the third straight year, I am headed to China, where I will teach students at the International School at Jinan University in Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton in South China. The trip allows me an opportunity to travel throughout China, Thailand and Myanmar, where I continue my own “Asia pivot” after years of reporting … Continue reading My Personal Asia Pivot