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Found 14 results

  1. I don't care how "trite" it is; we've lost a giant in the passing of I.M. Pei. "Legendary Architect I.M. Pei Has Passed Away, Age 102" on architizer.com I am so sad this building is gone - when you're ignorant about a subject, pay attention to the experts. God I was so wrong about this.
  2. Ideally, I'd like this thread to be the mothership for a historical conversation about China, and I figured President Xi's 2015 U.S.A. visit was as good a place as any to start with. --- Xi Jinping (1953-), President of China, Visits the U.S.A. (Sep 22 - Sep 28, 2015) (DonRocks)
  3. My parents took me to Quan Ju De when I visited them in Beijing earlier this month. The duck, as described above, was top-notch. Aside from the signature roast duck, we were also served duck feet (as a cold appetizer), duck kidneys (sauteed with vegetables), duck neck, and duck liver. A lovely meal all around. Couldn't bring myself to eat the sea horses and grasshoppers on a stick that were sold by the Wangfujing street food vendors, though. I'm fairly adventurous when it comes to food, but have to draw the line somewhere! We also had some great meals in Xian (including a dinner with 18 types of dumplings), Yangzhou, and Shanghai, but unfortunately I forgot the names of the restaurants. -- [This thread has been split off from the Hong Kong thread, where sparkycom has some Beijing reviews in this post.]
  4. Fascinating article. The stupidity of human society knows no bounds.... "Too Many Men" by Simon Denyer and Annie Gowen on washingtonpost.com
  5. "North Korea: China Urges Trump Not To Worsen Situation" on bbc.com "China's President Urges Restraint on North Korea in Call to Trump" by Tom Brune on newsday.com
  6. You know what? There won't be five people who read this thread, but it's nothing more than a John Oliver clip - a little weak when it comes to explaining the relationship between Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas (I was paying very close attention, and still had to supplement the viewing with a bit of research), but so much more intelligent than television comedy usually is - watch this, enjoy it, and learn from it. There is nothing that would make me happier than for this thread to segue into a serious conversation about the (theoretically) kidnapped Panchen Lama, the *counterfeit* (yes, counterfeit) Panchen Lama created by the Chinese government - Gyaincain Norbu - the potential for China to hand-pick the next Dalai Lama, and all the other hypnotically grotesque things that Oliver discusses. The Dalai Lama could easily stop future self-immolations by saying that it was a noble act looking backward (hence, honoring the families), but going forward, it cannot and should not happen, i.e., it doesn't need to happen, in the era of the internet, and the time has come for it to stop. What was this about not discussing religion and politics?
  7. For the first time ever, The Meat-Shaped Stone, a Qing Dynasty sculpture of Dongpo Rou (braised pork belly) is being exhibited in the United States. The sculpture is carved jasper, finished with wrinkles, dimples, and soy-sauced rind. The sculpture is part of the Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art From the National Palace Museum, Taipei currently on exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (ends Sept. 18, 2016) The exhibit also includes a jadeite bok choy cabbage...but that's not quite as cool.
  8. So what on earth is this? "The Great Game" (also known as "The Tournament of Shadows") was the struggle between the British Empire (depicted by the lion) and the Russian Empire (depicted by the bear) over Afghanistan - or, more precisely, dominance over Central Asia with Afghanistan happening to simply *be there*. This occurred from: 1813 (*): The Russo-Persian Treaty (the "Treaty of Gulistan") until: 1907: The Anglo-Russian Convention (the "Anglo-Russian Entente") Ever heard of the Emirate of Bukhara? No? That's because it's gone now, a victim of "The Great Game," or more precisely, the Bolsheviks, but it was a nation from 1785 until 1920; today, it has been carved up into parts of *five* different countries, all five of which end in "-stan." See what happens when the best-laid plans go to waste? Before the U.S.S.R. fell, it was part of them - the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic for a time - answering to the Kremlin in Moscow before it was disassembled and chopped up into parts of other Soviet Republics. (*) - This book uses 1856 - The Anglo-Persian War - as the starting point, and you can be assured the author knows more than I do: "The Great Game, 1856-1907: Russo-British Relations in Central and East Asia" by Dr. R. Charles Weller on history.ac.uk (a review of the book written by Evgeny Sergeev) So, what is this "Wakhan Corridor" thing? If you look at a map of Afghanistan, do you see something "odd" in the northeast? That blue "thing," clutching onto China like a lobster claw, and separating Tajikstan from Pakistan, is the Wakhan Corridor: It's one hell of a region. Why does it exist? Because of The Great Game. Marco Polo traversed it (I just had a flashback to my childhood in the swimming pool). The Wakhan Corridor - particularly the Wakhan Corridor Nature Refuge - is one of the most beautiful places on earth; also one of the most dangerous. It's a real pisser that I'll surely never get to see it in person - I guess I can always dream. The easiest way to get in is from the North; the easiest way to get out is in a coffin.
  9. "ESPN's World Fame 100" lists the '100 most famous and well-known athletes in the world.' Here are two basic facts: China has over 18% of the world's population, and not one single athlete from China is on the list. Here's a video about Ma Long for the experts at ESPN to watch when they have a minute:
  10. Everyone has heard of Confucius, everyone knows he's Chinese, everyone knows he's ancient, and everyone knows he's a philosopher, but that's about the extent of things. Even just reading that Wikipedia entry will enrich you, in some small way. Confucius lived during the Zhou Dynasty (1046 - 256 BC), the longest of all China's dynasties. He lived in Lu State (1042 - 249 BC), whose existence almost exactly parallels that of the Zhou Dynasty - in today's world, it would be in Shandong Province: Zou was a minor state (a state within Lu State), and *might* be represented on this map by Zhou, but I'm not sure about that - Zou is where Confucius was born.
  11. If you had asked me to name how many lanes the widest highway in the world had, I *might* have said ten. "Thousands of Cars Stuck in Beijing Traffic Jam on 50-Lane Highway" by Avianne Tan on abcnews.com
  12. As President of China, Xi Jinping, arrives in Washington, DC today, I ask myself if he is the least famous person in this part of the world, relative to his position of importance. Pope Francis visits for a few days, and it is one of the most publicized, famous events in the recent history of our nation's capital, but then the day after, the *President of China* arrives, and nobody even knows he's here. Don't get me wrong: I'm not taking anything away from the Pope, but the differential in popularity between the two visits is remarkable. What do people make of this? Is it because a presidential visit - even if it is the President of China - is so routine that it's just not that big a deal? Is it because so many people love Pope Francis? (I doubt Pope Benedict XVI would have received this much attention.) If you asked the average person on the street in DC who the President of China is, I honestly think they wouldn't be able to answer correctly. Maybe I'm wrong. (And if I'm not wrong, this speaks more about Americans than it does President Xi.) "Xi Jinping's U.S. Visit" on xivisit.nbr.org "Xi Jinping, Chinese Leader, Has Weighty Agenda and Busy Schedule for U.S. Visit" by Jane Perlez and Yufan Huang on nytimes.com "Obama and Xi Jinping of China Agree to Steps on Cybertheft" by Julie Herschfeld Davis, David E. Sanger, and Jane Perlez on nytimes.com
  13. The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is one of the world's most comprehensive collections of Asian art. Their collection holds more than 18,000 pieces and the museum exhibits approximately 2,500 pieces. When we visited they were in between major exhibitions, but the permanent collection is well worth your time. We spent about 3 hours there and could have easily spent a couple more. If you are a fan of the Sackler/Freer museums in DC, you will love the Asian Art Museum.
  14. This is old "news" but the specifics just came out: http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/19/dianping-chinas-largest-restaurant-review-site-turned-down-an-acquisition-offer-from-google-china/ Jeez, Don...if DC was only as big as China!!
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