This is certainly an interesting time to be in this country right here, and right now. What with the 20th Anniversary of a certain incident at a certain square that may or may not have involved a lot of tanks coming up. Couple that with sabre-rattling in North Korea, rapid development all over the place, and of course those pesky people in the Himalayas that always want human rights, Asia seems to be the place to be right now, and the bloggosphere is keeping it well documented. While I may have been slack at posting on this (and my other) blog, there is no shortage of information out there about Asia. Here are some of my recent favourites that I have read:
Someone I know quite well in real life, Elvina, makes a great post Identity Crisis, which talks all about the challenges of being a Chinese-American while living in China. Needless to say, it's full of all sorts of problems that we may not have expected to begin with.
In that post, Elvina mentions friends complex's having over-zealous guards. Well if you read that friend, Don's, post you will see just how intense the guards can be there. He talks of having a church gathering at his place, and havint the guards come it to see if there were any Chinese people there. This may seem like a strange question, but it has some deep seeded questions about freedom and "foreigner rules" in China. Check out Just Checking Who is Home... on The Arizona Anachronism for more info on that one.
Keeping with people I know, my friend Ryan, also known as thehumanaught, a B-List celebrity in the English language China blogging community, makes a great post about Living Without Trust, where he talks about how difficult it is to find trust in this country. A few months ago, his dog was killed as a result of dog food that went bad, and his new dog got sick, only to have the doctor run a series of expensive tests, when a simple internet search showed that it was nothing to worry about. A frightening read that makes you appreciate some of the wonders of the West.
As I have mentioned a few times, I am also writing for a blog (ran by the same Ryan as above), called Lost Lao Wai. Earlier this week, I read a fanatastic post about a Chinese family and their dirty little secret, liking Japanese food. This is very topical, given the outcry that has came out surrounding the new fim, Nanjing, Nanjing! Read Itadakimasu! by Quincy on Lost Lao Wai.
Now of course, not everythign great is writen by myself, or my friends, there is a lot of other stuff out there. Michael Rines, at the New York Times, did an excellent article called "To Protect an Ancient City, China Moves to Raze It", about the destruction of Kashgar's ancient city. China is starting the demolition of 2/3 of the ancient city, in order to improve it for tourists. As a recent tourist of the region, I am a little torn on that one. On one hand, I hate to see something with so much character destroyed, but on the other hand, I would hate for people to continue living in such sub-standard living. Also, I deeply dislike the thought of having a culture and region get turned into an attraction, but yet I just went there and loved every minute of it...
In an equally debatable post on a vastly different topic, John Pomfret of the Washington Post, makes a great blog entry about the PRC and their strange relationship with everyone's favourite Hermit Kingdom titled "Why China Won't Do More With North Korea". It raises some very interesting perspectives that I certainly had not thought about. It examines China's economic, cultural, and geo-political interests in keeping the Korean Penninsula divided, and it really is a fascinating read that could serve to explain some of the complexities of the Korean issue.
Lastly, I should mention that I have continued to post on Lost Lao Wai, which you can see all of here. Some of these may end up reposted here, but I would encourage people to read them where they are, as the comments are part of the fun (especially for The Bargaining Debate).
Anyway, with that I should be off. I hope that you take the time to enjoy the posts I have highlighted for you, since this is certainly an interesting time to be in this strange, strange continent.