A digest of online China – 19 Oct – 24 Oct

This column offers a weekly digest of the latests pieces published on our website and our most recently completed translations.

Walking away

New texts published

Why did Chinese people invent noodles? – Wei Zhou

Get the culture behind your Lamian. This informed piece by blogger Wei Zhou offers a history of noodle making, presenting this northern Chinese staple as a major technological invention.


Who said men don’t need close friends? – 1874 CE

Two Chinese buddies go to the movies together – and choose to watch a girls’ movie, then hang out eating vanilla ice-cream. A short, insightful reflection on male friendship in contemporary China, and the need for emotional companionship, regardless of gender.


Patients or customers? New models for medicine – China 30s

China 30s is a Shanghai-based magazine offering monthly interviews with leading young Chinese innovators. This piece shares the story of obstretrician Gong Xiaoming, who believes the relationship between patient and doctor is one of service: a rare insight into the changing world of Chinese health provision and its implicit value system.

We actually have a choice – Zhou Baosong

Hong Kong intellectual Zhou Baosong walks among the protesting crowds with his young daughter – and meditates on civil disobedience, collective choice, and individual freedom.


New translations

Is there something essentially fraught with the structures of contemporary Chinese art? Possibly, writes blogger Lucia, based on her observations of university friends graduating in fine arts. And so, in ‘The Daydream of a non-professional artist, she proposes a utopian alternative: deprofessionalise art, bypass corrupt institutions and return to spontaneous creative expression.

China’s international rise causes numerous anxieties, in particular among immediate neighbours. The Chinese government promotes a discourse of ‘peaceful expansion’, but how and why exactly is Chinese culture intrinsically peaceful? Singaporean expert Zheng Yongnan, in ‘Important Questions about the new silk road‘, raises a few questions about the use of this geopolitical concept, and shows how – if handled well – it could provide the basis for harmonious development in the region.

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