The Dragonhead: The Godfather of Chinese Crime–His Rise and Fall by John Sack My rating: 5 of 5 stars As others have mentioned, “The Dragonhead” is a great read taken as a novel but doesn’t hold up as a true story. The Dragonhead himself, Johnny Kon, crosses over into Hong Kong in the 60s as … The Dragonhead
Originally published in the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel as Sartorial Sychophany As Venezuela has been the recipient of over half of China’s loans to South America, the ongoing crisis there is of concern to Beijing. China continues to support the embattled government of Nicolás Maduro and, like Russia and Turkey, doesn’t recognize … Fashion for Socialist Dictators: Maduro in China
Originally published in the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel as Forbidden Portrait. In 2016, at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, I saw a black and white photo that didn’t compute at first. The photo featured a portrait of the Generalissimo, Chiang Kai-Shek, hung above the Tiananmen gate of the Forbidden City … Chiang Kai-shek on the Forbidden City
Originally published in the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel as When Malaparte Met Mao. A former fascist sees only the good in Mao’s China. In 1956 Italian novelist Curzio Malaparte received an invitation to travel to Beijing for a commemoration of the death of writer Lu Xun. Malaparte is most famous for his … Eyes Wide Shut: Malaparte in China
“It began in the autumn of 2019. Months before the first reported case of human-to-human contact, the Wuhan Institute of Virology began to go dark. Publicly available information was wiped from the internet. Staff connected with the Institute disappeared as the scientists fiercely criticised its safety practices and standards. At the same time, there were … What Really Happened in Wuhan?