The Chinese Doctor Who Beat the Plague

The Chinese Doctor Who Beat the Plague

In October 1910, a mysterious illness appeared in the city of Manzhouli, on the Russian and Chinese border. Meet the doctor who stopped a deadly epidemic from spreading to the rest of Asia and possibly beyond.

Did Chinese Architect Liang Sicheng Save the Historic Sites of Kyoto?

Did Chinese Architect Liang Sicheng Save the Historic Sites of Kyoto?

Walk down any street in Kyoto and chances are you'll run into an old temple. Did Chinese architect and preservationist save the city from being destroyed in World War II?

Beijing's Five Architectural Colors, and the Symbolism Behind Them

Beijing's Five Architectural Colors, and the Symbolism Behind Them

It sometimes seems like the dominant color in Beijing is “Socialist Taupe.” The streets. The bricks. The roads. Getting away from the gray and the beige is hard.

That wasn’t always the case. In imperial times, builders and architects relied on five colors to add life to their creations: red, yellow, blue, white, and (yes) gray

Xi’s Gotta Have It: Rewriting the History of the Reform and Opening Era at the National Museum

Xi’s Gotta Have It: Rewriting the History of the Reform and Opening Era at the National Museum

Feckless sycophants at the National Museum have taken the Reform and Opening period, one of the most significant moments in Modern Chinese history, and turned it into the equivalent of a Xi Jinping dick pic.

Being Thomas Friedman in Taipei

Being Thomas Friedman in Taipei

Nothing is more annoying than the uncritical writer who arrives at a destination and proceeds to gush over the local culture. So when I say I love Taiwan, I do so with the full expectation that I may be simply exorcizing the accumulated demons of a life lived in Beijing. But you know what… I absolutely love Taiwan and let me tell you why.

Pence Peeves Peking, MoFA Mocks Mike

Pence Peeves Peking, MoFA Mocks Mike

A speech by US Vice President Mike Pence earlier this month seemed to signal a tougher line against China. The two countries have a long complicated relationship but is Beijing correct when it accuses Pence of distorting history?

The Wire Guide to the 1911 Revolution

The Wire Guide to the 1911 Revolution

You come at the Emperor, you best not miss. Understanding the 1911 Revolution with an assist from the writers and cast of The Wire.

The Party Goes Retro for National Day

The Party Goes Retro for National Day

It’s the National Day Golden Week holiday in China, and Jeremiah muses on competing retro trends with the Party reaching back to the 1980s and reviving “Anti-Bourgeois Liberalization.” Were they inspired by the needless decision to remake Magnum, PI?

Beyond Marco Polo: Italians in Old China

Beyond Marco Polo: Italians in Old China

While Marco Polo might be the best-known Italian to travel to China (or not), he was far from alone in making the long journey from that sunny Mediterranean peninsula to the Far East.

What Donald Trump Could Learn About Staff Loyalty from the Ming Dynasty

What Donald Trump Could Learn About Staff Loyalty from the Ming Dynasty

Disloyalty? Treason? The scheming of bureaucratic factions to thwart the ambitions of a mad head of state? The stories being told about the Trump White House by Bob Woodward and the New York Times have nothing on Chinese history

It’s Not Rocket Science, Except When it is: The Strange Case of Qian Xuesen

It’s Not Rocket Science, Except When it is: The Strange Case of Qian Xuesen

The story of Qian Xuesen, “an undisputed genius” who helped China develop rocket technology after he was shunned in the United States of America

Make Some Noise: The Visible and Not-so-Visible Dangers of Beijing’s Perpetual Din

Make Some Noise: The Visible and Not-so-Visible Dangers of Beijing’s Perpetual Din

On my death bed, I swear the most powerful sonic memory from my years in China will be that of a drill reverberating through walls and floors and burrowing its way into the reptilian part of my brain.

We’re a Long Way from 2008: A ChinaFile Conversation

We’re a Long Way from 2008: A ChinaFile Conversation

On August 8, 2008, China’s then Chairman Hu Jintao told a group of world leaders visiting Beijing to attend the Olympics that “the historic moment we have long awaited is arriving.” 10 years later, how do we evaluate China’s Olympic performance and legacy?