James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States, and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More
James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.
Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.
That is all. Now if only the family had tried to sneak a boiled frog, or a leafblower, or an open bottle of beer, or an Atlantic subscription card (etc) onto the flight, it would be the ideal item I have been hoping for lo these many years. Thanks to Adam Minter, Damien Ma, Ben Carlson, and many other friends in and around China for the leads.
Foreign reporters flaunt their Mandarin skillsYes, I did notice the "with a big smile" touch; and this story caught my eye mainly because I find it droll. At the same time, I am trying to imagine the counterpart in America: a Secretary of State Clinton or Kerry hearing a question from a German or Japanese reporter and, before answering, noting that the questioner's English is "so good" that it can actually be understood. It's another little marker on the long road of China's developing a sense of ease as an international presence and power.
Caroline Puel, French magazine Le Point correspondent in Beijing, was surprised twice on Saturday at the press conference with China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Besides getting a chance to ask a question out of the hundreds of reporters at the scene, Puel also got high marks from Yang for her Chinese.
"Your Chinese is so good I can understand your question without asking you to repeat it", Yang told her with a big smile.
Cyber security has become an increasingly prominent issue as security threats in a peaceful era, and seems another way for Western powers to apply pressure to contain China's rise, they [various Chinese officials] say.
Wen Weiping, a professor at the School of Software and Microelectronics at Peking University, put forward his explanation on the belligerence.
The US believes it is justified to launch military attacks on any country that launches cyber attacks threatening its cyber space, he said, and it must raise a fuss against such alleged attacks to build up a case. Wen said the US also aims to strengthen its cyber security forces as a deterrent and maintain its advantage during the information war.
Your latest post at the Atlantic includes a comment of a friend of yours who is 'in China' on an ad of Hellen Keller glasses, in which you quote your friend - "If they only used Google [eg, to research possible brand names], they would know, but instead, they use Baidu so they end up with this."I didn't know that Hel[l]en Keller was a familiar figure to Chinese school children. Now I do! The person who wrote in sent a link to a Chinese third-grade textbook story about her. And if Helen Keller Sunglasses is meant as an intentionally cheeky brand, in the spirit of "Franklin Roosevelt's School of Ballroom Dance," then I need to view it in a different light, so to speak.
It seems to me that you share his/her perspective that whoever came up with the idea has no idea who Hellen Keller is - which amuses me and I do very much wonder if the intention of this content is indeed to expose/ridicule this seeming ignorance.
Does your friend know that Hellen Keller is a junior high school text book figure for Chinese students? - I personally once had to recite three paragraphs from an excerpt of her The Story of My Life as an assignment for my Chinese class.
Hellen Keller as a brand for whoever (a Chinese person) hasn't heard of the woman doesn't carry more meaning than of a foreign female name representing some exotic Westerness, in contrast, for people who do know about her (that would be a hell lot of Chinese people who've had a reasonable education), I imagine, this ad could have conveyed a good deal of tension - thinking of glasses and the blindness of the woman - as well as a wicked sense of humour, hence making a successful advertising strategy.
Apparently not for your friend, though, whose first reaction is to assume 'Chinese state media' - or perhaps a much wider range of Chinese people - is too dumb to be reasonably informed, far more surprising for me - as an avid reader of yours - that you consider it worthy of a no small space in your column.
True that "a self-proclaimed China hand never disappoint". :)
"Why does the U.S. not censor rumors?" asked one Weibo user last November. "No matter how wild they are, nobody bans them, and the creators of rumors do not worry about getting arrested. Perhaps for places where truth persists, rumors have no harm. Only places that lack truth are fearful of rumors."2) Reuters has an attention-getting story today on this topic. It's an answer to this question: If Bo Xilai's wife really did order the killing of a British businessman (as she has now been accused of), why on Earth would she have done that? Here's the Reuters headline. Thanks to Clement Tan, formerly of the Atlantic, for the lead.
If they only used Google [eg, to research possible brand names], they would know, but instead, they use Baidu so they end up with this.
China's Hainan Airlines kicks off its flight attendant recruitment campaign at the Harbin 26th Vocational School in Harbin, Heilongjiang province on Mar 8, 2012. The airliner plans to recruit 1,000 flight attendants through the campus recruitment event, titled "Looking for the oriental beauties".I'm not sure which is more interesting: how the airline has chosen to cast its campaign, or the deadpan way in which the state media present it. By the way, for all those primed to write in fury after seeing the word "oriental": hey, tell it to people at the newspaper's head office in Beijing, or the airline's in Haikou. Here's more from coverage of the recruiting drive:
I feel obligated to point out that 'beautiful female journalists' was, in fact, only part 2 of a series that commenced on Tuesday, with 'Beautiful Service Staff at the NPC and CPCC.' In fact, 'beautiful service staff' was above the fold, top of the web page news when it first ran.
In any event, I must admit that I've been clicking over to the People's Daily site all morning, looking for what today's "beautiful [fill in the blank] at the NPC and CPCC" feature will be. Being that it's international women's day, I'm expecting something special to complete the trilogy, but so far ... nothing. The betting man in me thinks, though, that the odds are better than even we'll see something like "Beautiful Soldiers at the NPC and CPCC" before the end of the day.And as it happens, just now I see that the most-clicked item on the People's Daily site is about the country's first female fighter pilots, alas with no extraneous comment on their looks or whether they will be making goodwill appearances, with the "beautiful service staff," at the dual meetings.
I'm one of the millions suffering through the "fog" here in Beijing. A couple of observations -- Indeed, China Daily took in today's edition an astonishingly bold stand about what is going on. It simply ran comparative shots of the same view of Beijing on each of the past four mornings. The first and last shots aren't camera failures. They show the air:
1) Even though twitter is blocked the US Embassy's Air Quality Index can be found at http://iphone.bjair.info which is not blocked in China.
2) When it comes to pollution it seems like papers like China Daily and Global Times are challenging the government more than on other topics. For example, about a month ago when the smog was also heavy there was an article in the Global Times which basically said that the government should be more accurate:"Since the problem cannot be solved quickly, a consensus is needed. The government should play a key role. Local governments usually leave the impression of "playing down bad news" among the public, which makes many people exaggerate the gap between their feelings with the government's figures."The article may not be as vocal as some of the classics such as
It is probably the same reason why the monitoring standard of the US Embassy is emphasized by netizens. That means local governments need to establish absolute authority over monitoring pollution without concealing information. If they are defeated by foreign embassies in this regard, they will lose more than just authority in monitoring air quality."
But for the government newspapers it's definitely more than expected criticism. Ironically, in the case of the Beijing pollution people may actually drop dead due to respiratory ailments.
More to read, more to enjoy.
Award 'cannot change fact he is a criminal'
BEIJING - Most nations support China's stance on the Nobel Peace Prize, and China will not yield to outside pressure on this issue, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Thursday in response to a question concerning the prize being awarded to convicted criminal Liu Xiaobo.
"Any attempt to deter China from development will be futile," she said....
Jiang denounced what she said were "double standards" applied to China's legal system, and criticized the US House of Representatives for calling on the Chinese government to release Liu.
She said most nations do not support the Nobel Committee's "wrong decision". Any move by the committee will not change the fact that "Liu committed crimes", she said.
China Daily is everywhere now--not only Harvard Business School and DC. It's one of three free papers always available in the mailroom of my Philadelphia high-rise--alongside Philadelphia Weekly and Metro, the free paper they give away at the subways. If you think CD is just targeting the elites, you're wrong. They're after the mix of arts students and ancient pensioners who live in my building too.
I'm happy you can get your China Daily now also in the US.
What is worth mentioning is that the USA edition is not the same as the mainland edition, nor as the Hong Kong edition. While it is a good idea for the Chinese government to get the word out to different parts of the world outside China, news is very much tailored depending on what the Chinese authorities think is fit for the specific region.
>>The flight he's preparing for involves zipping through the cave beneath his right shoulder in the picture [below]. Tianmen Hole is a 360-foot-tall, 96-foot-wide, and 260-foot-long formation located near the city of Zhangjiajie in central China's Hunan Province. Corliss will jump from a helicopter hovering at 6,000 feet and attempt to glide through the hole. He will not be able to pull his chute for two-thirds of a mile and has a very small margin of error.<<I've been to Zhangjiajie and have seen this cave, and I can barely believe what he is trying to do. It's the gap to the left of Corliss's helmet in the picture below.
>>It would not be bad if these actions were covered by the [Chinese] media, whilst keeping a level head. It loses value when Locke's every move is packaged by the media as being part of the class of US officials. Some journalists like to romanticize what they see out of a lack of knowledge and may hold Locke up as a mirror for Chinese officials....Indeed! And well put. Thanks to JG in Beijing. [I see that Elizabeth Economy has an item on Locke-mania.]
It is bizarre and twisted to regard these acts as evidence of cleanness in US politics. <<
>>Instructed by school teacher Zhang Tao, Wen learnt how to dribble and control the ball.Well put! Nice play by all. And good sportsmanship by Wen Jiabao -- even though he gives every indication of taking this 100% seriously and not as a moment of high campiness potential. (For another time: has there ever been a moment of senior Chinese Communist officials reflecting awareness of the campy or jokey quotient in such events. Probably so, but I can't think of one now.)
A successful shot won him a big round of applause from the pupils, the report said.
Wen said he was "very happy" to join the students, and added that building a strong and healthy body would help them in their studies.
"Only when children are healthy, can the country have a good future. We must keep a healthy body in order to better serve the people," he said.<<
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|Blind into Baghdad||Boiled-frog|
|Brave little USB||Budget|
|China Airborne||China Daily|
|China Menace||China Today|
|Copenhagen||Crisis of the press|
|Doing Business in China||Dreaming in Chinese|
|Going to hell|
|Ideas 2009||Ideas 2011|
|Obama in Asia||Obesity|
|Occupy Movement||Occupy Wall Street|
|Security Theater||Self-pity and its discontents|
|Walk like an American||Wine|
|Year end pensee|
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