Recommended Reading: The China Story Yearbook 2013

China Story Yearbook 2013
Last Thursday saw the publication of the China Story Yearbook 2013, the second in an annual series published by the China experts at Australia National University's Center on China in the World. It was co-edited by the estimable Geremie Barmé and Beijing's very own Jeremy Goldkorn. Disclosure: I'm partial. I occasionally write for the China Story blog, but don't let that deter you. The yearbook is packed with insight and perspectives you won't find in commercial media, with gems that will prove invaluable to any China watcher.

Li Na Falls Twice, Then Loses Australian Open Final (Watch Full Match Here)

Li Na sprained ankle featured image
After winning the first set of the Australian Open final against defending champ and world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, Li Na rolled her ankle -- twice, the second time immediately following a 10-minute fireworks display in honor of Australia Day -- before falling in three sets 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. That Azarenka was on the other end of two medical timeouts was more than a little ironic.

Li Na Explains Serving Ball 10 Rows Into Stands: “I Want To Have Good Communication With The Fans”

Li Na featured image
Ever since advancing to the 2011 Australian Open final, becoming the first Chinese player to appear in a Grand Slam singles final, Li Na has been somewhat of a media darling in Melbourne. The 30-year-old, sixth-seeded Wuhan native beat Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 on Tuesday to advance to the semis against Maria Sharapova, but not before serving up a bit of comedy.

Stephen McDonnell Gave Andrea Yu, Star Bilingual “Reporter,” A Firsthand Lesson In Journalism, And It’s Not Pretty

Andrea Yu
Yesterday, while writing about an Australian reporter who had become somewhat of a Chinese Internet star because of her Mandarin-speaking ability, I was most struck by something she said in English. At a press conference inside the Great Hall of the People, she mentioned she was representing "Global CAMG Media International." I googled that phrase and found no results on the first page. The closest match was "CAMH," which is completely different. That should've sent up a red flag, instead of a yellow one. But this was still the early stages of the story, and the news seemed to be the question itself, not the identity of the questioner, so I went ahead with the post.

“You Speak Very Good Chinese,” NDRC Chairman Tells Female Australian Reporter [UPDATE]

“You Speak Very Good Chinese,” NDRC Chairman Tells Female Australian Reporter
Turns out, nope -- at least in terms of content. But on Saturday afternoon, one reporter attracted an equal amount of attention at an 18th Party Congress press conference. She stood up, took the mic, and asked a nearly minute-long question in Mandarin, and then wryly said, "I'll translate for myself." A few chuckles came out of the erstwhile catatonic crowd.

Australian Man Complains About “Beijing Chicken Burger,” Deserves Unintentional Comedy Star

Australian man and Beijing Chicken Burger featured image
I don't know why, but this made me laugh. Maybe it's the extra-nasally way the man pronounces the J in Beijing. Maybe it's because I feel like he's ready to vomit the words "chicken burger," such is his rising disdain. Maybe the title of the video itself -- Crazy McDonalds employee sells Sloppy Beijing Burger. Or maybe it's the idea of him turning off his camera, getting out of his car, and marching straight back into the McDonald's to return the burger, like he said he would... or the thought that he just might not turn the camera off while he does this.