Cheating as a Way of Life

Four students and I were helping Professor Gan clean his backyard. We were probably the first group to do so in the last 50 years. All day we threw old, rotten wood and ancient bricks into a dumpster and smoked cigarettes to regain strength whenever we could. Midway through the sweltering day one of the … Continue reading “Cheating as a Way of Life”

China’s Internet Generation

In today’s China, there is a Internet-bar on every street corner. If the bar isn’t full, then it must be lunchtime or the Chinese basketball team must be busy beating the Americans. (China won, I saw it happen….) Millions of Chinese pay 2 yuan an hour to chat over OICQ, listen to music, watch Hong … Continue reading “China’s Internet Generation”

China’s Expansionism

Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Asian tour was supposed to garner support from longtime allies and to patch up relations with recent rival and growing power, the People’s Republic of China.But those hawks Rumsfeld and Armitage went along for the ride and while in Canberra discussing the Echelon spy system and containment policies, the US … Continue reading “China’s Expansionism”


In a recent Chicago Tribune article, Michael Lev discussed the question that every foreigner in China finds himself asking after his first trip to the market: Which is better – the free market or the supermarket? After taking a stroll through a muddy, crowded Chinese market with discarded corncobs, piles of peas, globs of bloody … Continue reading “FREE MARKETS OR SUPERMARKETS?”


In the Golden Age of the exploring colonists, the trailblazers were anthropologists, botanists, soldiers and, later, benevolent trading companies. These fine gentlemen categorized and conquered, bringing glory, wisdom and riches back to the motherland, but little changed for the farmers and petty merchants whose lives they jotted down into their notebooks. One hundred or so … Continue reading “Trailblazing”

Culture of Pollution

Next week the site of the 2008 Olympics will be decided upon. It is very possible that Beijing will be successful in its bid and China will be rewarded with its first Games, unprecedented international spotlight and an influx of foreigners not seen here since the Qing Dynasty. If successful, it will be largely due … Continue reading “Culture of Pollution”

Sailing Towards World Significance

Last Tuesday, June 25th, marked the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. Chinese from Beijing to Kashgar put on their finest slacks and ties, spent extra money at the barber shop and went to the local danwei recreation center to sing songs of praise. I was watching the most recent music … Continue reading “Sailing Towards World Significance”


In 1989, students were at the forefront of the protests that ended in bloodshed in Tiananmen square. The protests called for democracy and reform, but they actually began with a demand for better conditions on Chinese campuses. Crowded dorms without electricity coinciding with high inflation and rampant corruption brought students and urbanites into the streets. … Continue reading “CHINA’S YOUTH REVOLUTION”