Tiananmen at 25: Super-Sized Reading Round-Up

Now that June 4 is less than a week away, news organizations around the world are ramping up their coverage of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen protests and crackdown. Though I’ve been limiting these posts to five points each in previous weeks, there’s so much to recommend this week that I had to makeContinue reading “Tiananmen at 25: Super-Sized Reading Round-Up”

A New Act in Shanghai Security Theater

As I said a couple of days ago, there’s a much more visible police presence on the streets of Shanghai these days, particularly on major avenues like Nanjing and Huaihai Roads. The increased patrols started in the days leading up to Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin’s visit last week, and it seems that they’ll nowContinue reading “A New Act in Shanghai Security Theater”

At Least I’m a Productive Procrastinator

You would not believe how many people have sent this comic my way lately: Apparently, there’s a vicious rumor circulating that I’m a world-class procrastinator. There is, perhaps, a grain of truth (but just a grain!) in that rumor. Of the 12 types of procrastinators pictured here, I am unquestionably ten of them: I’m notContinue reading “At Least I’m a Productive Procrastinator”

Tiananmen at 25: The Weekly Reading Round-Up

As the June Fourth anniversary grows closer, security measures in China continue to tighten. The anniversary’s approach has also coincided with a spate of terrorist acts in China’s western region of Xinjiang, where explosive devices detonated in a market on Thursday morning killed 31 people and injured nearly 100 more. In Shanghai, a visit byContinue reading “Tiananmen at 25: The Weekly Reading Round-Up”

Overcoming a Fear of Chinese Banks

I’ve long had a deep-seated case of yinhangophobia, or the fear of Chinese banks (银行 yinhang=bank), and as a result done everything I could to avoid them. Part of my wariness came from direct experience: when I first arrived in China in 2005, I carried most of my money in traveler’s cheques, which had beenContinue reading “Overcoming a Fear of Chinese Banks”

Bookshelf: Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow

There’s a tricky balance to writing well about expat life. Some people are so wide-eyed and enamored with their adopted homes that all they do is gush about how wonderful and fascinating and inspiring life abroad is. At the other end of the spectrum are writers who complain so relentlessly about the country they’re livingContinue reading “Bookshelf: Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow

Tiananmen at 25: This Week’s Links

• There have been more detentions as the Beijing government works to ensure that no one is left voicing dissent on the day of the June Fourth anniversary. Anthony Kuhn of NPR News gives an overview of the recent crackdown in this Morning Edition report. Heather Timmons at Quartz has put together a list ofContinue reading “Tiananmen at 25: This Week’s Links”

Wall Street Journal: Tiananmen Amnesia and Tiananmen Exiles

Now up at the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report blog, my new column on Rowena Xiaoqing He’s recent book, Tiananmen Exiles: In “Tiananmen Exiles,” Ms. He interviews Shen Tong and Wang Dan, both important figures in the Beijing protest movement, as well as Yi Danxuan, who was a student leader in Guangzhou. AllContinue reading Wall Street Journal: Tiananmen Amnesia and Tiananmen Exiles”

Leftover Women: In Pictures

I began reading Leta Hong Fincher’s eagerly anticipated Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China last night, and one chapter in, I now know that the Marriage and Family Research Association here classifies me as a Category 3 Leftover Woman (ages 31-35, dubbed the “Buddha of victorious battles” for achieving professional advancement—though aContinue reading “Leftover Women: In Pictures”

Tiananmen at 25: Voices Silenced

Heading into this spring, other China-watchers and I occasionally discussed the widespread crackdown on dissenting voices that President Xi Jinping implemented over his first year in office, and we all agreed that things would probably tighten even further as the 25th anniversary of the June Fourth massacre approached. Unfortunately, that prediction has proven true—even moreContinue reading “Tiananmen at 25: Voices Silenced”