China’s Great Wall of Debt takes both a bird’s-eye and street-corner look at what is undoubtedly the global economy’s most vexing question. In its pursuit of an unending cycle of annual economic gains, infrastructure rollout and technological catchup, just how much debt has China accumulated in the course of its red-hot stimulus frenzy since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008?
AN OLD JOKE in linguistics runs: What is the difference between a language and a dialect? (pause for dramatic effect) A language is a dialect with its own army.
The author of Destruction and Sorrow Beneath the Heavens, László Krasznahorkai, Hungarian writer and poet, Booker Prize winner, condemns his quest to find any remaining evidence of Chinese civilization to failure from Page 1—as if the book’s title had not alerted the reader to what lay ahead.
Chinese, like Japanese, are all for tours. Every self-respecting tourist attraction has its hierarchy of sights, its hoary accretion of wide-eyed lore and its filing-cabinet litany of statistics.
We tend to be too earnest about China—the opacity of its politics, the sufferings foisted upon its people by a capricious government bent on maintaining one-party rule at all costs, the hagiographies of the system’s entrepreneurial winners.
Yes, a devastating fire broke out in the Tibetan quarter of Shangri-la’s Duzekong district in 2014, but little about this part of town was ancient. It is a better described as a commoditized, Chinese state-endorsed face of Tibet.
THIS RATHER ODD – perhaps even slightly psychotic – list of “exemplary expats” includes a famed womanizer, a forger, a self-confessed drug addict, a possibly murdered English teacher and me at No 9.
I’D PUT OFF returning to Shuanglang – just under 40km northeast of Dali, on the far side of the Erhai Lake – because it meant so much to me before and during the writing of Harvest Season
LAST WEEK I took a trip up into the foothills of the Cangshan mountains in Dali with Carl and Scott of Bad Monkey fame to visit their brew house
Chris V Taylor is a writer based in Bangkok. He has been a guidebook writer, a travel writer and has written commentary and reported for many publications worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal, The Far Eastern Economic Review, Salon, Time, the South China Morning Post, The Age, and The Sydney Morning Herald.
You can find him on Twitter @ChrisVTaylor.