good feelings and the Olympics

After visiting grand Shanghai and glittering Chongqing, it was in a taxi in Dongguan that my view of China took a small, but important shift. I was traveling with a friend to the South China Mall, down the main road that stretches from the city’s train station all the way out to the suburbs. It […]

NPR correspondence by email and me in print

The China Beat just ran an email interview I did with Louisa Lim, the dynamic Shanghai correspondent for National Public Radio, formerly of the BBC. My favorite part? When we arrived at their office, their faces fell. We sat around, drinking tea and waiting. In the next room, we could hear the government officials conferring […]

The best reporting on the Sichuan Earthquake you’ll never see

When I was at the Pusan International Film Festival in Korea, I went to a hotel on the beach to meet a documentary filmmaker from Beijing. I was very impressed by his film, Who Killed Our Children. Pan Jianlin was frank with his opinions and generous with his time. He chain smokes and makes self-depricating […]

Orientalism or chinoiserie?

Marketing material for the 1926 Milan premeire of Turandot on the left, and for the 2008 Singapore staging on the right.Like most people, I don’t know where I first heard the famous aria Nessun Dorma of Puccini’s Turandot. But my interest in the opera has certainly been revived several times recently. Maybe it was Pavarotti’s […]