You’d be easily forgiven for thinking there were just two political events worth following at the moment; the Gillard Abbott contest here at home, and the billion dollar battle between Obama and Romney abroad.
Arguably though, there’s a third political event that’s received far fewer column inches, yet is just as relevant to us and will remain so, long after the other two have ended.
In early November, just a few days after the US has voted, China will host its 18th Party Congress.
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Many Australians believe that China is a threat to our way of life. Once you have lived here you find this to be most unlikely.
In this China Watch article I hope to describe the Chinese people’s love of community, friends and especially family. In so doing, I will give three reasons to dispel the fears of those Australians.
Family is most important to the Chinese people. I never understood the Cantonese insult “Puc Gai”, roughly translated as “fall down in the street” or “die in the street”, until I attended my father in law’s passing and the following funeral.
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This is regular monthly series on what’s happening in China from a political, social, environmental, music and arts perspective. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to contribute or suggest a topic for discussion.
Life as an expat in China throws up several essential experiences: climbing the Great Wall, eating an unfamiliar animal, and having your internet censored by the local authorities. That being said, you really need to go out of your way to do the first two. The third is organised for you.
Basically every foreigner who leaves for China comes armed with some sort of firewall-bypassing gadget, and it seems that the Chinese Censorship Brigade are concerning themselves with the destruction of these services instead of blocking individual articles, videos or links.
A free service that several Australians were using to get around the Wall, for instance, mysteriously stopped working for all of us on the same afternoon several weeks ago, and has been offline here ever since.
This column is part of a monthly series on what’s happening in China from a political, social, environmental, music and arts perspective. If you’d like to contribute to the series, know of some great links, websites, magazines, contacts or just harbour a passion for China, feel free to drop me a line: email@example.com.
Being an Australian of European background, I stand out instantly in China.
Such is the feeling of isolation in the crowd, though - the looks of intrigue, the whirlwind of Chinese characters and the confusion of rapid native conversations - to see another foreigner is almost always a source of comfort.
I’ve quickly found, in that moment, the attraction of the familiar inevitably draws out three questions in English.
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This column is the first of a monthly series we’ll be running on what’s happening in China from a political, social, environmental, music and arts perspective. If you’d like to contribute to the series, know of some great links, websites, magazines, contacts or just harbor a passion for China, feel free to drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today in China there are approximately 123,509,752 children under 14 years of age. By the end of this year, 20 million others will be born.
Thanks to the one-child policy, 70 per cent of these children will go through life without a sibling. The average Chinese parent will spend up to two-fifths of their yearly income to educate them.
By 2040, this generation will form part of a minority: the workforce of a country that has grown old before reaching its full economic potential. Here’s how they’re growing up.
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