China

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. 

Political, Economic, and now ‘Environmental’ Refugees Seek Shelter Around the World

Andrew Lam

The modern world has long thought of refugees in strictly political terms, victims in a world driven by competing ideologies. But as climate change continues unabated, there is a growing population of displaced people whose homes have been rendered unlivable thanks to a wide spectrum of environmental disasters. Despite their numbers, and their need, most nations refuse to recognize their status.

India Might Rule the World One Day… Let’s Discuss

Kurt Thurber

India has not had any problems producing a birthrate to support the world’s second-most populous nation. They have a highly educated workforce. Anyone, from anywhere, that has needed tech support knows their telecommunications infrastructure works. They are creating their own products to meet the growing material demands of Indian citizens.  Since the turn of the century, India has become a hotbed for computing innovations. First, they assisted American companies to avoid any Y2K complications. Today, Indian technology entrepreneurs are creating intellectual property to compete on the global market.

Bowing to China, Vietnam Prepares for ‘Propaganda’ Trials

Hao-Nhien Q. Vu

When Dang Thi Kim Lieng set herself ablaze in a self-immolation to protest the local communist administration in Vietnam on July 30, the country's dismal human rights records once again caught the world's attention. But, unlike other dictatorships before them, the Hanoi rulers' oppression of their citizens is increasingly being viewed as something even more ominous: More and more, the Communist Party is seen as unpatriotic, as selling out the national interest to secure their own grip on power.

As Asia’s Power Grows, U.S. Seeks to Strengthen Bonds

Andrew Lam

For longtime Indochina observers, the developing story is one full of irony and a signal for a major shift in the long if arduous U.S.-Indochina relations. Nearly four decades have passed, but America barely recovered from its psychic wounds. Vietnam, after all, was our “hell in a small place.” It spelled America’s ignominy. The country known for its manifest destiny was soundly defeated by what former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once called a “fourth-rate power.” Still, here we are, at the turn of the millennia, seeking a return. 

Popularity of American Fast Food Leads to Rise of Obesity in Asia

Andrew Lam

Besides the tasty draw of fatty foods and sweet sodas, there’s another reason why such establishments are making inroads in countries that are otherwise known for their excellent culinary traditions. Unlike in the U.S., where fast food is perceived as time saving and cheap and often the preferred meal of the working poor, in Asia places like Burger King and Pizza Hut are the fare of choice for those with dispensable incomes. 

Photographer Rian Dundon Explores a Different Side of China

Peter Schurmann

There’s a restlessness to Rian Dundon that defines much of his work. Sitting over coffee, the 31-year-old photographer checks his phone, then his watch. He looks past the window, capturing mental images of the world outside. Then he returns. It’s that same nervous energy -- a sort of daring uncertainty - that animates the subjects of his forthcoming book on the Chinese city of Changsha, a one-time stronghold for Mao Zedong’s incipient Communist Party. 

New Year Boosts Chinese Travel to U.S.

Summer Chiang and Peter Schurmann

People in China traditionally head home for the lunar New Year holiday, marking one of the largest annual human migrations on the planet. This year, however, a growing number are opting to travel abroad, bringing in new streams of tourism revenue to destinations in the Bay Area and across the country.

Ai Weiwei: Rebel With a Cause

Liz Appleby

Few artists were featured in the media in 2011 as frequently as Ai Weiwei. His placement on Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential figures came at the end of a year when he was taken into custody by the Chinese government for alleged economic crimes. Ai’s supporters believe these charges are a ruse, and the media have questioned their validity as well. As Andrew Stout of More Intelligent Life explains, the accusation of economic crimes is “a catch-all charge often used by Chinese officials to publicly discredit dissidents”. 

The Road to Extinction

Andrew Lam

Once in a while tigers make international news, like the white tiger in Las Vegas that mauled illusionist Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, or the one that killed a teenager at the San Francisco Zoo. Most of the time, though, the news is about tigers being eaten by man. The latest involves a restaurateur in Hanoi arrested for selling tiger meat. She has been arrested before and served time in jail, but the trade proves too lucrative – $1,000 per 100 grams of tiger meat -- to give up, especially now that there are but a few tigers left in the wild. 

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