Tag: China

Pawns On the Board, on Both Sides of the Pacific

The old neighbourhoods are not coming back amid the glass and concrete of today’s Shanghai. Half of the Andean countryside is beginning to look less like villages and more like mining settlements whose denizens want to leave. And the last few years have shown that liberty and truth are felt less in the bones by each new cohort of educated élites who will go on to craft policy. Still, something more timeless does come through in the frustration that I see growing on the faces of young Chinese on my Zoom screen, as they say they feel more like pawns on a shrinking board than ever before, and in the firm handshakes of the stubborn activists who will not yield and who appreciate the chance to talk with anyone sympathetic.

As North Korea Goes Nuclear Far East Ambassadors Must Speak Up

I lived much of my adult life under Terry Branstad’s multiple tenures as governor of Iowa, and I think he did a “pretty fair...

Memory and the Damming State

The family’s life in this village had come to an end when the lake was dammed in 1958. One wonders who would consider such things worth it.

Creative Destruction and its Benefits, China-Style

A few weeks ago I was visited by a fellow Wichita resident who was thinking about getting into politics. We talked for a while...

Of Dragons and Crescents

A revised foreign policy true to the principles of the Porch should turn the present one upside down.

Castles Built on Sand

Even for the average homeowner, ownership all too often is imagined as a way of gaming income flow and consumption over a lifetime, accumulating enough to spend down before one has to become a ward of the welfare state. It is part of consumer society, not a buffer against it.

Empire’s Heir?

As the old saying suggests, be careful what you ask for, because you may get it.  The hubristic here in China are well on...

The Other Side of China, and What It Might Say When...

As the heat of late summer subsides here in Nanjing and our university settles into the new semester, many look forward to the annual...