Global Times, A Diagnosis

The Global Times, a tabloid offshoot of the People’s Daily group that is routinely described as “strongly (or some varioation thereof) nationalist” recently launched an English-language edition. I have enjoyed reading the Chinese edition, which is mostly devoted to foreign affairs (obviously, I guess) and so covers issues I …

Beijing Bicycle Commute

Last week I attempted to explain to a friend of a friend just what it’s like to ride a bike in Beijing. It’s better than riding in the U.S., because there are far more bike lanes. It’s worse because there’s far more traffic here. It’s better in Beijing, because Chinese drivers treat cyclists as legitimate road users. In the U.S. some …

Geithner and the Renminbi: Numbers Please

So Treasury Secretary Geithner testified to Congress on Wednesday. Once again, he said that he did not consider China to be a currency manipulator. In fact, his whole approach to the problem makes it clear that the issue is going firmly on the backburner for the Obama administration, which is a big step. Whether that accommodating stance …

Must-See Hong Kong TV

First there was the stressed-out Bus Uncle. Then came the Airport Auntie who threw a hissyfit on the floor after missing a flight (her performance has attracted almost 7 million views!!). And to add to Hong Kong’s growing collection of video hits featuring the city’s mentally unstable, we now have Paranoid-MTR-Jerk-Uncle (my suggested …

Appearance and Reality

Cities as imagined in the brochures of their property developers often have a mildly hallucinogenic quality—but Hong Kong lavishly so. Depending on what kind of homebuyer is targeted, the catalogs show either a sunbathed arcadia of wooded hills, sunsets and pristine water, or a blazing Gotham, its denizens clad in evening dress, …

Propaganda Battles

Last week I was on the road and thus missed out on an entertaining and unexpectedly illuminating media slapfest in Beijing. For fight fans who missed this clash, here’s a recap. Last month Peter Foster of the Telegraph wrote a short piece about a government campaign to boost patriotism ahead of the 60th anniversary of the People’s …

Video: A Cemetery’s Waitlist

Here’s our video story about Hong Kong’s cemetery waitlists (go to the World section). What’s it like to wait for more than a year just to get a one-square-foot space to store ashes? We wrote about this issue a couple weeks ago in the magazine. Read the full story here.

Ma Ying-jeou’s First Year

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou is keeping his promise to aid his island’s stricken economy through stronger mainland links. But cozying up to Beijing carries political risks. Here‘s my colleague Michael Schuman’s latest story on Ma, out in the latest issue of TIME Asia.

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