Beijing Rainbows, Craft Beer, and Taco Porn

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Beijing’s Third Annual Craft Beer Festival drew thousands of visitors and brewers from around China to the Galaxy Soho complex in Chaoyangmen this weekend. It was some of the nicest whether Beijing has seen this year, with rainbows being spotted around the city. Read more »

How China Was Betrayed At Versailles: An Interview With Paul French

Betrayal in Paris, by Paul French
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I, Penguin China has released a seven-book series on China-focused Great War history. It tabbed Paul French, author of the popular and award-winning Midnight in Peking: The Murder That Haunted the Last Days of Old China, to contribute Betrayal in Paris: How the Treaty of Versailles Led to China’s Long Revolution.... I sat down with the author (over Skype) to talk about the "betrayal," Japan's role in it, and how it might have been tipped by -- of all things -- America's Jim Crow laws. Read more »

Lost And Found: Tiananmen Square Photos Discovered 25 Years Later

Lost and Found Tiananmen 1 -Goddess crowd
There are those moments when you feel the weight of history pressing on you -- that awestruck realization that a great moment happened here, and now you're bearing witness. Maybe you've ducked into a tower while on the Great Wall. Or you're standing just inside the Lincoln Memorial. The thing is, I never expected to have that feeling while standing in my basement, squinting up at an unidentified roll of film. But that's what happened to me last Sunday, as I was searching through an old shoebox from my parents labeled "photos." Read more »

Here’s Today’s Flag-Lowering Ceremony At Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen flag-lowering ceremony
It was just another day on the Square, though it seemed there were slightly fewer people than usual. Many must have gotten turned away at the security line underground, as officers informed, "If you don't have ID, don't bother waiting in line." The sternest reprimand we heard all day came from an officer who halted a woman sauntering past the queue. "Go wait in line," he barked. "Do you not see all these people waiting?" Read more »

Google Translate App’s Chinese Phrase Of The Day: “Fuck Harmonious Society”

Google playing hardball with China
China ramped up its censorship considerably in the lead-up to today, both of words and Internet services. Google is by far the biggest company to find its services halted -- as anyone trying to access Gmail without a VPN knows well -- and Google has by far the best response to it. We really want this to be true, anyway -- via Jonah Kessel: Read more »

Remembering 89-6-4

Tiananmen playing cards remembering 6-4-89
Via NY Times: "A photograph of Tiananmen Square that was uploaded to the Chinese social network Weibo ahead of the 25th anniversary of the crackdown there on pro-democracy protesters on June 4, 1989." Read more »

The People’s Republic Of Amnesia, Reviewed

The People's Republic of Amnesia, by Louisa Lim featured image
Today marks the 25th anniversary of a turning point in modern Chinese history. In the run-up, around 20 key intellectuals and campaigners have been been detained, and security around Beijing heightened. And who knows how many warnings and threats have been issued to the family and friends of conscience-driven citizens across the country. Read more »

Another AWW Documentary: “Ai Weiwei, The Fake Case,” Reviewed

Ai Weiwei, The Fake Case
I’m back writing about Ai Weiwei, which isn’t what I particularly want to be doing, but as he seems to be the only Chinese artist known or cared about by a wider (Western) audience, here we are. This continued, and likely mutually beneficial, publicity for AWW has led to yet another documentary focusing on the trials and tribulations -- well, mostly the trials -- of him as he continues to work as an artist and professional dissident. Read more »