Anyone who hangs around me even a little has heard me say, in response to almost any question about China, “It’s complicated.” This picture that I took outside the Haidian Church in Beijing last week illustrates my point. It’s got everything…. Chinese national flag Neon sign Giant Cross Political banner next to the church Surveillance […]
It’s a long story, but I’m in Beijing for a short visit. The inbound flight path from Detroit to Beijing yesterday took us over the mountains to the northwest of the city, where the alpine events of the Winter Olympics will be held in 2022. They’re getting ready!
When China began building its amazing high speed rail system in the early 2000s, Hu Jintao was the leader of China. As with all leaders, he had a slogan or catchphrase that was used (ad nauseum) to symbolize his rule. With Hu Jintao, the slogan was “build a harmonious society.” For his 8 years in […]
While visiting friends in an old neighborhood of Beijing last week, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before –quite a few of the cars parked along the streets and alleyways were covered. When I got to my friend’s house I asked her about it. The conversation proceeded like this: Me: Why do some of the […]
On my last few visits to China, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon — the conversion of 3-wheeled motorcycles commonly used by the elderly and handicapped into what I can only describe as fake cars. Someone is making serious money converting these 3-wheeled motorcycles into vehicles that look like they want to be cars when […]
In February of 2001, the International Olympic Committee made their final inspection visit to Beijing to see if the city would be up to hosting the 2008 Olympics. In preparation for that visit, the city got a major “spruce-up.” Office and apartment buildings that had been a dull gray since their construction decades before were […]