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.

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What Foreigners Do in China

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By Xujun Eberlein In the remote mountains of Yunnan Province, China, a middle-aged European ecologist gave up his high-level international program manager job and made his home with a local woman. Together, they set forth to reestablish the rainforests destroyed by rubber tree plantations, cultivated a garden — a seed bank — that “was home […]


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Marking Time in China and the West — A New Year’s Post

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“A spectre is haunting the world: 1914.”  So writes Harold James, a professor of history [who is] certainly right that newspapers and learned journals are currently full of articles comparing international politics today with the world of 1914. — Gideon Rachman, “Does the 1914 Parallel Make Sense?” Financial Times blog Today’s China is no longer […]


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The China Blog A Bollywood film crew shooting an action thriller in a small village in Anhui Province in 2012.

India in China

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By Tong Lam The relative absence of India in Chinese public discourse is an interesting curiosity. Indeed, while there has been a growing public interest in China among the Indian public in recent years, there is no similar level of reciprocal fascination flowing across the Himalayas in the other direction. Instead, most members of the […]


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Missing the Harmony Express

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By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham “There is NOTHING,” I typed, “that makes me miss China more than dealing with @Amtrak. Our rail system is ridiculous.” A quick click on “Tweet” and I sat back in my chair in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, content that I had fully conveyed my frustration with American mass transit — at […]


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Sherlock Holmes and the Curious Case of Several Million Chinese Fans

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Image from ChinaSmack. By Paul French After a hiatus of a couple of decades China’s love affair with England’s greatest consulting detective is apparently back on. The BBC’s hit show Sherlock is a smash with Chinese viewers – Youku, a Chinese video-hosting website similar to YouTube, is screening the series and within hours of it […]


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Foreign Elements: A Q & A with Photographer, Author and Editor Tom Carter

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By Alec Ash [This interview was originally published on the China Blog tumblr on September 25, 2013.] There have been expats in China since the first Jesuit missionaries started arriving in the 16th century. But what characterizes the hundreds of thousands of Westerners who call China home today? And what are the challenges and identity […]


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Another Dozen China Gift Book Ideas (This Time to Buy for Yourself)

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I recently joined with three other “China Blog” contributors to compile a list of 12 gift suggestions for readers seeking books to give China-savvy or China-curious friends and family members.  This is a sequel inspired in part by how tough I found it to limit myself to just the trio of titles we were each […]


The China Blog Tourists taking pictures of a projected mermaid image in one of Macao’s luxury entertainment and consumption hubs.

Casino Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics

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By Tong Lam Macao has long been known as the “Las Vegas of the East” and the “Monte Carlo of the Orient,” but ironically its reputation as a center of capitalist excess only really took off after it was reintegrated into a still-nominally Communist China as a Special Administrative Region. This happened in 1999 and […]


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Our Favorite Things

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Before becoming part of the LARB’s “China Blog” team (indeed, before that publication even began), several of the people who have been writing for it were deeply involved in “The China Beat,” a digital publication based at UC Irvine that ran from 2008 to 2012 and was edited first by Kate Merkel-Hess and then by […]


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Late-Breaking Iran and China News: A 1979 Flashback

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by Jeffrey Wasserstrom The weekend before Thanksgiving was a big one for international headlines. The biggest breaking story, coming out of Geneva, was of a multinational team of negotiators hammering out a nuclear-arms deal with Iran.  When John Kerry announced this agreement, American commentators reached quickly for historical analogies, focusing mostly on two years in […]


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