‘I am not nostalgic, I want to remember.’ — Lao Shu, spring 2023

The Other China 冷艷寒香   Lao Shu is the nom de plume of Liu Shuyong (劉樹勇, 1962-), a Beijing-based artist, writer, critic and professor in communications. His artistic voice is unique and personal, its tenor, whimsy and profundity evoke what for decades we have called ‘The Other China’ — a cultural noosphere that is as undeniably local as it is universal.… Read

Hands off Snakey — Teacher Grey’s Chinese Lessons

The Other China   In February 2023, Teacher Grey 格雷老師 Géléi lǎoshī, an American musician with fluent Chinese and a winsome manner, released ‘Chinese Boys, Don’t Masturbate Anymore’, a humorous song with a political punch.… Read

It’s Time for Another Serving of Peking Duck Soup

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium Appendix XXXIX 鴨架湯 It is five years since we introduced readers to the film Peking Duck Soup in our series Watching China Watching. As the Two Sessions of legislative theatre in Beijing draw to a close in an atmosphere of authoritarian nostalgia, it seems like an ideal moment to refresh the stale memories of the old and excite the imagination of the young by reprinting the review of Peking Duck Soup that Simon Leys published in 1977, along with links to the film itself.… Read

A Landslide Victory Marking the End of the Beginning

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium Appendix XXXVIII 白茫茫大地真乾淨   On 10 March 2023, the 2,952 delegates attending the first session of the Fourteenth National People’s Congress in Beijing voted unanimously to endorse Xi Jinping candidature to be China’s president for a third time.… Read

Craven, Servile Knaves Hold Office

The Other China 禽獸食祿   In my twenties, my circle of friends referred to the synchronised annual meetings of China’s pro forma legislative bodies in Beijing as ‘The Walking-Stick People’s Congress’ 拐杖人大 and ‘The Wheel-chair Consultative Congress’ 輪椅政協.… Read