Beijing

The Struggle for Identity and Fairness in Hong Kong

Yoichi Shimatsu

The leadership and activist numbers are coming from Generation ’97, young people born during the 1997 handover of the then-British Crown colony to Chinese sovereignty. These youngsters, most still in the secondary level (high school), are finding themselves at the forefront of a populist struggle for electoral rights. They are motivated by anxieties about local identity and a consequent need for better representation, reflecting attitudes that differ subtly but significantly from the traditional opposition parties. 

How China Became the World’s Second-Largest Art Market

Veronica Mendez

Fast-forward 20 years later, and China now possesses the second-largest art market after the U.S.  . In the October 28, 2013 New York Times, Barboza, Bowley and Cox reported that China’s auction revenues reported revenue of $8.9 billion, and China’s native Poly Auction house has risen to become the third-largest auction house in the world, behind Christie’s and Sotheby’s. 

The Great Race: An Author, a Coupe, and the Thrill of the Ride

Steven J. Chandler

Dina Bennet has an interesting take on American literature’s classic road trip. In her book, Peking to Paris, she recounts the 8,000 mile classic car rally which she undertook with her French-born husband Bernard in a 1940 GM LaSalle coupe nicknamed “Roxanne.” The race brought them from Beijing to Russia, across Central Europe and finally into Paris. It was a road rife with possibility for social, political and cultural insights. We don’t get much further, however, than the author’s anxieties and allegiance to a husband bent on winning gold at all costs. 

Vietnam Is Poised for a Revolution, One Text Message at a Time

Andrew Lam

Vietnam, a police state where freedom of expression can come with a multi-year prison term, is awash in cell phones. Whether for talking, texting or taking photos, Vietnamese are buying up mobile devices at a rate exceeding the country’s own population. A sign of the communist nation’s rising affluence, it is also undermining the state’s monopoly on information. With phones available for as little as $20, ordinary consumers are buying up sets that would otherwise have been bound for foreign shores. 

When Did China Become the Enemy?

Summer Chiang

In less than two weeks U.S. voters will decide on who they want at the helm of government over the next four years. For many, that decision will be influenced by which candidate, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, promises to be tougher on China. "China bashing" isn’t new to presidential politics here, notes Zhiyue Chen of the Chinese-language Yazhou Zhoukan (Asia Weekly).  With the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent rise of China, both parties have now honed in on a new "imaginary enemy."

Disappearing Beijing: Finding Local Culture in a City of Migrants

Bradley Gardner

Things tend to disappear in Beijing. Long-term residents regularly speak of the death of old Beijing - the lost Hutong alleyways, the disappearing bicycles, the much less sketchy concert venues. Restaurants, bars and businesses open and close at a frantic pace, entire parts of the city can be destroyed and built again in a few years. Beijingers conspire to share their  favorite “hidden places,” where they can still enjoy what they love about the city before it becomes popular or  is redeveloped. 

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