It’s not often that a diagnosis of appendicitis comes as a relief, but as John Vecchiarello, a tile and marble specialist in his mid-40s, lay in a hospital bed not far from his home in Orange County, New York, he figured he’d dodged a bullet. It was mid-March. Covid-19 had ravaged eastern China and was sweeping across Italy. Just days before, the suburb of New Rochelle, an hour’s drive away, had been designated the United States’ first “containment zone.”
Vecchiarello figured he was lucky. Better a ruptured appendix than a mysterious plague.
He was still at the hospital recovering from…
Thousands have been arrested since protests began last summer against a proposed bill, since withdrawn, permitting Hong Kongers to be extradited to mainland China. The PRC-friendly Hong Kong government, led by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, has failed to quell the ongoing unrest. Steadily increasing street violence and arrests culminated in the terrifying 12-day siege of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which ended on November 29. The six-month anniversary march that followed on December 8 drew somewhere between 183,000 and 800,000 people, depending on whether you believe the police or the organizers. …
The NBA’s China controversy has made protestors out of its fans.
A tweet from Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey expressing his support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong prompted sharp condemnation from Chinese authorities and an apology from the NBA for Morey’s “regrettable” language. (Not long after the NBA weighed in, Morey’s original tweet was deleted.) The backlash to the league’s refusal to side with Morey was swift. Even when league commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday the NBA would not censor its employees, he still refused to condemn China for its crackdown in Hong Kong.
In response, fans have…
On a muggy summer day, I happened upon two twentysomething Chinese men bickering over the best angle for a selfie in front of the memorial wall at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. After they declined my offer to help with the photo, I asked why they had come to the museum. They said they were aspiring entrepreneurs, and they had come to learn how to be like the Jews.
“Jews are rich and good at business,” one said.
“And very clever,” the other added.
I told them I was Jewish.
“Jews are great!” said the first. …
The night I got a job as a fake English tutor to the very real Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, I celebrated by treating myself to a new pair of shoes at a knockoff mall in Beijing. The multilevel marketplace was where I went to buy polo shirts with inverted Ralph Lauren logos or ersatz New Era baseball caps that never quite fit. The clothes rarely lasted long, but they always helped me feel a little less homesick. Even a fake Nike tracksuit can do wonders for the soul of an expat.
It didn’t matter that the fresh “Adidas” shell toes…
Hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers took to the streets this month in what was purported to be the largest public protest ever held in Hong Kong’s history. Their goal: to compel the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam to abandon a proposed extradition law that would allow Hong Kong criminals to be tried in Mainland China.
Demonstrators see this law as yet another pro-China move from the Hong Kong government since the former British colony of more than 100 years was returned to China in 1997. As cross-border tensions rise, Hongkongers are showing greater resistance to China’s influence than ever before.
The U.S.-China trade war is escalating, and so far, nobody seems to be winning.
Last week, President Trump increased tariffs on certain goods imported from China from 10% to 25%, and his administration is also preparing to levy a 25% tax on all imported goods from the country. In response, China announced retaliatory tariffs on over 5,000 imported U.S. goods, including everything from honey to light fixtures to electronics. The escalation has financial markets and Republican senators up in arms, due especially to concerns over how the ongoing trade war will affect rural Americans in the agricultural sector.
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