Category Archives: The China Blog

LARB’s China Blog covers the life, culture, politics and literature of China. It is edited by Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Maura Elizabeth Cunningham. If you’re looking for blog posts prior to September 2013, please visit our China Blog tumblr page.

The China Blog larb blog 1940s china

Remembering the 1930s and 1940s, or Reliving Them?

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By Austin Dean The writer Xiao Hong is everywhere in China these days. Her face recently graced the covers of a score of newspapers and magazines; the publication Sanlian Weekly devoted over thirty pages to her; billboards advertised the recently released film about her career. In fact, the new film The Golden Era is the […]


The China Blog larb blog pera palace

Istanbul and Shanghai Between the Wars – Two Sides of the Same Coin

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By Paul French We generally think of Shanghai between the world wars as unique, a one-off city forming a crossroads between East and West. It was, according to this line of thinking, unique in being a place representing the modern in a country largely composed of the ancient. This vision of it is compelling, but […]


The China Blog HKstrikepieceLaskai

Connecting and Comparing the Taipei and Hong Kong Struggles

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By Lorand Laskai October 3: While the world is watching Occupy Central, one group has gone beyond mere spectating. Six nights ago when students in Hong Kong braved waves of tear gas, after days of trying unsuccessfully to occupy the park in front of the government headquarters, another site of the Hong Kong government came […]

The China Blog larb blog han han

On the Road in Chinese History

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By Austin Dean Han Han—author, blogger, high-school drop out, racecar driver, provocateur, and spokesperson for a car-seat manufacturer—recently branched out into movies, directing The Continent. The film follows the story of three young men from an island off the east coast of China as they travel together to take one of their ranks to his […]


The China Blog larb blog generalissimo

The Generalissimo’s Ghost

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By Jeffrey Wasserstrom “In Taiwan, Teens Protest Statues Honoring Former Ruler Chiang Kai-shek,” Los Angeles Times headline, August 11, 2014 Like other historians of modern China, I give a fair number of class lectures that deal with Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975), aka “The Generalissimo,” who was the most powerful man on the Chinese mainland from the late 1920s […]


The China Blog IMG_5779

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, in Taipei

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By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham At precisely 6:35pm on a Thursday night, exactly as scheduled, the ChinaTrust Brother Elephants took the field at Taipei’s Xinzhuang Stadium, their bumblebee-yellow uniforms sharp against the deep green of the grass. Alone, with nearly an entire section of the outfield stands to myself, I leaned back in my seat and […]

The China Blog larb blog china ally

China’s Forgotten World War II: A Q&A with Rana Mitter

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By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham As my last China Blog column was on China’s forgotten World War I, I decided that an examination of the country’s involvement in World War II would make for a logical follow-up post. There’s no one better to discuss this topic than Oxford historian Rana Mitter, author of Forgotten Ally: China’s World […]


The China Blog larb blog chinese nostalgia

Blasts from the Past: Chinese Nostalgia for the 1980s in the Era of Xi Jinping

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Photo: Scene from American Dreams in China By Austin Dean In a speech at the 35th anniversary of academic exchanges between the United States and China earlier this summer, David Moser, a linguist and Academic Director of Beijing’s CET study abroad program who is one of the doyens of the expat community in Beijing, recounted a […]


The China Blog larb blog the dog

Finding One’s Own Way Through the Woods: A Q & A with Short Story Writer Jack Livings

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By Jeffrey Wasserstrom One of the best works of fiction I’ve read in recent months is The Dog: Stories by Jack Livings, who taught English in China in the 1990s and sets all of the short stories in his collection in that country. The book’s longest story, “Crystal Sarcophagus,” is set in the immediate wake […]


The China Blog Ash Pick Up Artist photo

How to Be a Male God: Beijing’s Pick Up Artist Scene

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By Alec Ash Xia’er, a 22-year-old music graduate from Hunan Province, is short, with a boyish complexion and no steady job. He is an average catch. Cirl, professional Pick Up Artist, has a ripped body, the confidence of a god, wears sparkling jewelry, and does magic. He is a ladykiller. Cirl exists in Xia’er’s mind, […]