inside thoughts on China and beyond

Posts tagged “politics

Hong Kong – Pearl of China (HK.3)

 

Pearl of ChinaRecent protests in Hong Kong caused me to reflect once more on my short stay in this Pearl of the Orient. If Honk Kong was dreading its return to mainland China in 1997 for political reasons, with the battle of Tiananmen Square less than a decade earlier still looming over its people as the threatening dark clouds of Mordor, the anticipation of wealth that would be flooding its streets and shops and households surely made up for it. The bitter-sweet, decades-old Chinese medicine of ‘two systems, one country’ would do the trick, it was assured. But what good can come from an affair with an abusive husband? (more…)

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Migrant Workers and The China Dream (part 2)

Chunjie is a moving business in quite the literal sense of the word: everyone is moving, and most are moving home. And like all previous Chinese New Year holidays, records are broken. Now, an estimated 200 million trips will be made -all in about 2 weekends. Should be enough to topple the earth, if you ask me. And this time, Da Erzi joined the crowd.  (more…)


People Persons

 I am not a Catholic but I do want to congratulate Pope Francis wholeheartedly. (Though I do think he would want me to call him Jorge, given his achievements of the last 9 month as a People’s Pope, so I shall.)  Being chosen as Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ doesn’t happen often (well, it happens once a year, of course, but not to the same person). And that Jorge is chosen ahead of Snowdon and Assad is a sign; a writing on the wall. The Great Wall, I hope. (more…)


Milk Rush

It’s been awhile since I last was in Holland. One year to be precise, or, as my assistant puts it: 12 boxes of Nutricia baby milk powder ago. She measures time by what is dear to her, and don’t we all?  My daily drive to work used to take me 4 songs, but after we moved to our new home it only takes one song. Sometimes even less than that and then I drive around the block just to hear the end of a Mozart cantata or Sting’s ‘Mr. President’.  (more…)


Chinese Dream

In 1963, Martin Luther King spoke his legendary words: “I have a dream” and within days it became the dream of millions.  Exactly 50 years later, Xi Jinping revealed his slogan: “Zhongguo meng” the “China Dream” (also translated as: Chinese Dream). That was months ago, and millions are still wondering what he meant by it.  (more…)


Fleeting Freedom

20130402_106-2You know how big-city life and a busy job and, now I’m at it, a family, can make you feel confined; imprisoned in inevitable routines and unchangeable habits. Tired. Then it is time for an escape; time for wilderness and raw freedom. Then it’s time for the Tibetan mountains. And so I planned a 10-day trip to Sertar monastery high up in the far western mountains of Sichuan and made the necessary preparations: talking with insiders; watching the latest news; taking my altitude tables. All was fine -that is to say; as fine as can be expected in these parts- and I was ready. How little did I know… (more…)


The Oak Wood Room

The Oakwood Room

They came from America, from France, from Germany, from all around the Western world as a matter of fact, and some even from Japan. They were meeting on the 179th floor of the state-of-art skyscraper that was finished only 5 years ago, covering the alleys far below with her constant shadow. For a short while it was the world’s tallest building. (more…)


Power Lines

It’s a routine that goes back for many, many years. You will recognize it each time you visit a Chengdu school, or any school in China for that matter. It’s a routine that brings back long forgotten memories. It’s the routine of lining up; and it is not just at schools.  (more…)