Category Archives China

Experiencing cultural differences and learning about the way people live in other countries is one of the great allures of international travel. But it can also be intimidating trying to navigate another culture without offending the locals. And one custom that changes from country to country and that can seem perplexing is tipping; what’s the proper amount to tip someone…

In response to international criticism, with much of it coming from the United States, the Chinese government announced on Friday that it would initiate stricter air pollution standards for Beijing by the end of the month. Residents of Beijing, foreigners and natives alike, have long complained that the Chinese government routinely understates the severity of the problem, with many relying…

A signal failure on the high-speed line between Beijing and Shanghai precipitated a rear end collision that has taken 39 lives and exposed the possibility of deeper, wider problems with the highly touted railway. Critics inside China, including the government itself, cite reckless pursuit of economic growth as a factor in the tragedy. China is the first and only country…

The worst drought in fifty years is threatening to severely disrupt life in Hubei, Jiangxi and three other southern Chinese provinces, which traditionally have abundant water resources. Emergency rationing of drinking water is in place for over four million people. At the same time, reduced river flow has hampered hydroelectric power production resulting in rolling blackouts and brownouts. High demand…

The air quality index in Beijing has soared over 500 as measured on instruments in the U.S. embassy, prompting staff to issue an alert today calling air quality “crazy bad.” The Chinese government’s official air quality reading was 312 because it measures large particulates only and ignores the tiny and dangerous dust particles that U.S. readings capture. Readings over 240…

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