Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Power of Superlatives

Anyone who’s spent a bit of time in China has heard about it’s “5,000 Years of History.” The phrase is everywhere. It’s written in official documents, appends the introduction to just about every museum, and is even quoted, not infrequently, … Continue reading

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Soft Power and the Confucius Institute

Back in 2006 Joshua Kurlantzick wrote a book called Charm Offensive. It detailed China’s growing influence, not as an economic or military actor, but as a cultural and diplomatic force. His point was mostly about diplomacy, pointing to African aid, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Government, Law, Etc. | 2 Comments

Mongolian Music: Hanggai

Mongolian throat singing is guttural. It sounds like a Didgeridoo coming directly out of someone’s mouth. If you want to hear some the band Hanggai (杭盖) is a good choice. It’s also simply good music. They play traditional Mongolian folk in palatable … Continue reading

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Life’s Tough

A couple of recent surveys published in the China Daily add emphasis to my recent post about a sense of frustration over the growing difficulty of everyday life in China. From an article under the headline “Study finds middle class … Continue reading

Posted in Armchair Theorizing, Social Phenomena | 1 Comment

School Folk

School Folk is a genre of Chinese music which sits somewhere at the crossroads of Simon and Garfunkel-esque guitar picking and heart-felt reminiscences about the good old school days. Chinese music is mostly sappy pop ballads. The 80s looms large; … Continue reading

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Resist America, Support Korea

The ongoing fracas in Korea is also about China, US relations. Big US boats are acting tough in the East China Sea; they’ve got South Korea’s back. China is asking for everyone to call bygones bygones and sit down for … Continue reading

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