Digital Divide: Does the Web Only Benefit China’s Urban Rich? (October 19, 2016, Sixth Tone)
Bai Yansong, a presenter at state broadcaster China Central Television, posed provocative questions to industry representatives at an e-commerce conference held last week in Sichuan province, southwestern China. “If the internet only makes big cities bigger and more convenient, has people rushing in and raising housing prices, while people in small towns just play video games, what is its value?” Bai asked.
Discoveries May Rewrite History of China's Terra-Cotta Warriors (October 12, 2016, National Geographic)
In the four decades since mysterious terra-cotta statues first came to light in northern China, archaeologists have uncovered a whole lifelike army. But that wasn’t the only secret hidden underground there. Stunning revelations are now rewriting the history of the great ruler who created this army as part of his final resting place. And a radical new theory even suggests that foreign artists trained his craftsmen.
How China got its name, and what Chinese call the country (October 5, 2016, South China Morning Post)
During periods when the Chinese nation was unified under one ruling house, the name of the dynasty was also the name of the nation, thus “the Great Tang”, “the Great Qing” and so on. The same principle applied when China was divided, with individual states, great or otherwise, bearing their own names. However, several names have been used to represent the idea of an integral geographic and cultural nation, the most famous one being Zhongguo (“the Middle Kingdom”).
Video: China’s Quest for Scientific Glory and Aliens (September 27, 2016, The Guardian)
China’s new radio telescope, the largest in the world—and the latest marker of Beijing’s ambition to become a global player in science—began its search for signals from distant galaxies on Sunday.
Being Christian in China's Jerusalem (September 18, 2016, BBC)
Danny Vincent travels to Wenzhou to meet Pastor Zhang, an illegal pastor in one of the thousands of underground churches that serve the millions of Chinese Christians. However, he also meets a pastor from a government registered church who defends the crosses being taken down and how he says the real reasons that crosses are demolished is because they are illegally built and not because the Chinese government is so concerned about the meteoric rise in the faith.
That was a stupid idea — until we thought of it: The cultural phenomenon of squatting toilets, split pants and giant hickeys (September 11, 2016, The Culture Blend)
Maybe, the most prominent recent example of “it was stupid until we thought of it” has been brought to us by 23 time gold medalist Michael Phelps (and numerous other Olympians who jumped on the cupping train). He taught us in Rio that gigantic hickeys aren’t always a bad thing.
Shariah With Chinese Characteristics: A Scholar Looks at the Muslim Hui (September 6, 2016, The New York Times)
Mr. Erie’s recently published book, “China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and Law,” is a look at how Shariah — Islamic law and ethics — is implemented among the Hui. In an interview he discussed his findings, which confound many preconceptions about Shariah, Chinese law and the rigidity of the Communist state.
China: When the Cats Rule (August 26, 2016, New York Review of Books)
But it’s in Cat Country that Lao She stretches himself the furthest, producing one of the most remarkable, perplexing, and prophetic novels of modern China. On one level it is a work of science fiction—a visit to a country of cat-like people on Mars—that lampoons 1930s China. On a deeper level, the work predicts the terror and violence of the early Communist era and the chaos and brutality that led to Lao She’s death at the Lake of Great Peace. Cat Country is often called a dystopian novel, but when Lao She took his own life, it was an uncannily accurate portrait of the reality around him.
Cradle of Tofu (August 18, 2016, The World of Chinese)
With the possible exceptions of rice and dumplings, few foods seem as intrinsically tied to Chinese culture as tofu. But despite its widespread popularity throughout China and vegetarians everywhere, the origins of this food remain shrouded in mysteries of Chinese kings obsessed with finding an elixir for immortality.
Why China’s Cities Must Maintain Ties With the Countryside (August 16, 2016, Sixth Tone)
Urbanization normally refers to the movement of rural populations toward a city. But Shanghai and other Chinese cities serve as evidence that urbanization is often much more complicated. In essence, it’s about change of lifestyle. The divide between rural and urban is more obvious in China than it is in any Western country.