Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: A Journey to Remember

by Tobias Thornes The representative of the Vietnamese travel company was most apologetic. ‘We could not get your ticket to Beijing,’ she said. ‘Only to Nanning. You can buy the Beijing ticket in Nanning. We will refund your Beijing ticket.’ So that was that. It was nine o’clock at night; the Nanning train would leave […]

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Prose

A Divided Hong Kong: Lessons from a Fractured Society

by Jonathon Yeung I was barely a year old on June 30th, 1997. In the final hours before China regained sovereignty at midnight, the last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, gave his farewell address on a windswept stage in the heart of the city. Amidst the pouring rain, he offered a message of hope, […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Changing China

by Tobias Thornes A wide and enticing country brews, always, just beyond our western comprehension, like a cauldron of constant change the taste of whose broth we never can be sure. Such is the allure of tantalising China: a rich civilisation veiled behind a mist of mystery. And I, like so many awe-stricken adventurers, am […]

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Comment, Prose

English in Hong Kong: The Unfortunate Decline

by Jonathan Yeung Hong Kong has two official languages: English and Chinese. Legally, both languages are meant to have equal status. This is clearest on the streets, where all road signs are bilingual; English on top, Chinese on the bottom. Before 1997, when Hong Kong was a Crown colony, English was the language of government, […]

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Comment, Prose

Taiwan’s Greener Pastures

by Zixin Jiang Taiwan’s president-elect, Tsai Ing-wen, is a skilled politician who brought her party from its worst scandal to its greatest electoral victory, and she is the first woman to officially lead a Chinese-speaking nation since the eighth century. Ms Tsai, who was introduced in one British newspaper as a ‘democracy campaigner, gay rights […]

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Culture, Prose

Teaching in China: How not to learn Mandarin

by Emily Smith Last summer I was fairly determined to leave the UK. Taking advantage of that gloriously low effort skill of speaking one’s own native language, I headed to Nanchang, Jianxi in China where I taught English to high school and university students. I learnt a lot, but one thing I really didn’t learn […]

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