ZGBriefs. This is a weekly e-mail that summarizes news about China from a variety of published sources. It takes about 10 minutes to read -- enough to help you have a reasonably intelligent conversation on current events in ZhongGuo (that is, China). Subscribe at www.zgbriefs.com
China Road by Rob Gifford. China Road is a road-trip book, written as the author travels Route 312 from Shanghai to Kazakhstan meeting truckers, students, Amway salesmen, family-planning enforcers, AIDS victims, and many others along the way. The idea of thanking Chinese for their cheap goods comes from a line in the book: "...James Kynge illustrates this point by standing outside a Wal-Mart in Rockford, Illinois and asking the shoppers of Middle America whether they feel like thanking the Chinese for all the cheap goods they can buy, and for the low interest rates they pay on their mortgages" (p. 287). Now I've just made the book seem dry, but it's not! It's great! I've read it twice, and can't recommend it highly enough. Buy it at amazon.com, or borrow from your local library.
And finally, head over to boston.com for a series of excellent pictures from this week's 60th anniversary festivities: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/10/china_celebrates_60_years.html
Stay tuned for a series of posts on my holiday visit to my student's home.