China

The Snakehead

The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream by Patrick Radden Keefe My rating: 4 of 5 stars Modus Operandi PRK: pick an interesting subject, research the f out of it, and write a looong book. He saves his opinions and judgements until the end. A wise choice, you don’t …

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Sexual Fascism

In ‘Civilization and its Discontents,’ Freud tells us that civilisation necessitates the curbing of the natural expression of the libido, and this repression leads to neurosis. The answer is to redirect the libido into work or artistic expression. For author Isham Cook, the state keeps us in fear of our libido as a mechanism of …

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Unwelcome

Unwelcome by Quincy Carroll My rating: 5 of 5 stars In ‘Unwelcome’ we follow Cole Chen through his awkward misadventures in California and Changsha, China. The twenty-three-year-old has come back from his second stint in China and is crashing on his brother’s couch. Our introduction to Cole is through the eyes of his more successful …

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White Faced Lies

White Faced Lies by Eric Flanagan My rating: 3 of 5 stars An interesting project. ‘White Faced Lies’ follows the journey of two ‘face jobbers’ in China. Face jobbers are foreigners who get paid to stand around and just look – well foreign – ideally American, white, tall, good-looking, and with blond hair. It is …

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Fashion for Socialist Dictators: Maduro in China

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 …

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What Really Happened in Wuhan?

“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 …

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