There are two kinds of common articles about China – those that criticize it and those that praise it and portray it as the next superpower. This article is one of the former but it directly takes on the latter. It’s an excellent read that slams so-called China pundits from America who usually glorify China and take its impressive-sounding “facts” and achievements at face value. I’ve been very critical of China over the past year, to my disappointment, and not surprisingly, I think there’re a lot of very valid points here. I have to admit I know the writer who works in Beijing, and he’s a very knowledgeable guy. The article is definitely on the spot.
Hong Kong is a pretty diverse society, even among its Chinese population, which isn’t a widely known fact. So while Cantonese is the dominant language, there are several dialects spoken by “minority” Chinese groups such as Tanka, the “boat people,” Hakka, which half of my family is, and Teochew. HK Magazine has an interesting article detailing all these dialects.
The Guardian does an interview with Amitav Ghosh, my favorite author who has just finished the third in his trilogy about the Opium War, Flood of Fire. The trilogy started in India then proceeded to Guangdong, China, where the opium trade was in full bloom until Chinese authorities tried to clamp down on it and the British instigated a conflict, the first of the so-called Opium Wars.