My editor rightly cut out a couple inflammatory references that would've created unnecessary trouble for the company, but because this blog gets far fewer readers -- and since Blogspot's blocked anyway -- I have no qualms about posting the references here. Very simply, they were the following three links, which were among the best China-related stories from this past year:
- Foreign Policy: Christina Larson on China and Xinjiang
Ultimately, China is more adept at creating fearsome impressions in the moment -- grand like the Olympic Opening Ceremony, or cruel like the crackdown on protestors -- than at maintenance. When you look close, it's apparent how much muddle there is beneath the surface, especially when authorities attempt to formulate policy around something they don't truly understand.
The Uighurs, as well as Islam itself, mystify China's secular leadership. In Xinjiang, a vast western province -- three times the size of France and bordering eight countries -- China's long-term policy toward minorities is puzzled in principle, capricious in execution, and the result is much suffering on the part of both Uighur and Han. Far from containing tension, the heavy-handed approach fans the flames. It is a brutal kind of confusion.
- Boston Globe: National Day celebrations
- James Fallows on Liu Xiaobo
There were, of course, many more stories worth revisiting, including Newsweek's coverage (sample here) and Time's (whose China blog is no more) (and Reuters, Wall Street Journal, et al.) and Danwei's and CN Reviews and, well, I do have an extensive blogroll off to the right.
For those in China who're still awake -- drop me a line and tell me how it is in 2010. I'll join you in the new decade in about ten-and-a-half hours.