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What It's All About:

China is the university from which you will never graduate. It is impossible to learn everything there is to know about this place with its 1.4 billion people, 2,500 years of recorded history, its multiple languages, cultures, religions, and cuisines. But it sure is worth a try. As one-fifth of all the people on this planet are Chinese, whether you like it or not you need to know something about what is ‘China’, perhaps the word in the English language with the broadest possible meaning.
This series explores a different aspect of China each week, everything
from history and culture to attempts at explaining the often times puzzling behavior seen every day on the streets of the Middle Kingdom. These articles will try to at least be interesting if nothing else and feedback, comments and suggestions are always welcome.
 About the Author: 
Nathan Mug Shot
Nathan Attrill is a researcher and writer on modern China currently living in Beijing. He graduated with a Master in Public Policy from Peking University and a Master of International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. His main China research interests include its modern history, communist political system, and recent economic reforms. 
Contact Nathan at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The End of Communism in China

Capitalist contractWhen did China start being a capitalist?

It’s pretty clear after spending any period of time in China that it is no longer a communist country in a tradition economic sense. Long snaking lines at every store for simple household goods, coupons and ration books instead of money, or behemoth state ministries controlling every aspect of economic life no longer exist in China and have not for a least a generation now. 

But when did this start? How do you change such a dramatic course in economic policy without causing the entire collapse of the economy or at the very least the ruling communist party? When did China start being a capitalist?

Read more: The End of Communism in China

When Europe wanted to be Chinese

IDCA - Chinese Shopping MallBefore the eighteenth century, Europeans had a fairly limited knowledge about what was going on in the far-east. Most of what they knew was based on rumours or hearsay from traders returning from the Silk Road; Chinese whispers if you will. But by the middle of the 1700s Europe was beginning to collect better and more accurate information about life in China, everything from Chinese goods and art to Chinese philosophy, Chinese design and even politics. This fascination with China in mid-eighteenth century Europe even has its own name in French when it comes to design: chinoiserie.

Read more: When Europe wanted to be Chinese

Paramount Leadership in China

Paramount Leaders in ChinaThis year marks the 65th anniversary of the Communist Revolution in China. While the revolution abolished much of the previous 2,000 years of the imperial Chinese system of government, it didn’t completely abolish the notion of rule by a single paramount leader. We may not call him the emperor but he stands above all others in governing Communist China. 

Eras of leadership in the People’s Republic are still distinguished by the names of the most powerful men of their respective times: Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and now Xi Jinping. Each “emperor” had around them a cohort of apparatchik mandarins who filled the important offices of state. Together they constitute “generations” of leadership.

Read more: Paramount Leadership in China

The Obsession with Pale Skin among Modern Chinese Women

There are many things that an expat has to remember to bring to China if they wish to maintain a similar lifestyle that they had in their home country. Familiar types of food are always the most common. Decent roll-on deodorant is another. But one many of the female persuasion will attest to is bringing make-up that does not bleach the skin a whiter shade of pale.

Add to this one of the many hazards of exploring the city street of China’s major cities is dodging, on the hot summer days, the pointed ends of the sun-umbrellas of the urban women of China, and you begin to wonder: Why are Chinese women obsessed with having pale skin anyway? Is our noxious Western media culture that portrays ‘whiteness’ as synonymous with ‘beautiful’ to blame? Not necessarily, there is a more historical perspective to this.

Read more: The Obsession with Pale Skin among Modern Chinese Women

  • Beijing

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    3610 Capital Mansions,
    6 Xinyuan Nan Road, Chaoyang
    Beijing, 100027
    Phone: (+86) 10 8468 3799 
  • London

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    154 Bishopsgate
    London EC2M 4LN
    United Kingdom
    Phone: (+44) 0207 377 84 
  • Hong Kong

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    Rm 604-7 Dominion Centre
    43-59 Queen’s Road East
    Hong Kong
    Phone: (+852) 800 968 924 


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