In hopes of becoming the next Bruce Lee, 10-year-old Qiu Bao endures demanding training at the Zhao Changjun Wushu Institute, a martial arts school located in the suburbs of Xi’an. For Qiu and his classmates, the tough conditions represent a test of character in a hoped-for tradeoff for a better future.
With a half-dozen ceiling fans pushing around the hot, humid air in the school gymnasium, Qiu does his best to keep up with the grueling daily routine. He dashes down a strip of burgundy carpet, sweat pouring off his face, leaps in the air, sticks his landing and returns to the back of the line to repeat the process.
But the heat and exertion take their toll. During a subsequent drill, Qiu falls, hitting the ground with a loud thump. Hastily righting himself, he steals an apprehensive look at his two trainers. Then, in the last group routine before a break, he lags behind the other students, clearly exhausted, with bruises visible on his slim legs. Yet by the end of the drill, he manages to stand straight and tall, ultimately triumphing over his shortcomings… Shortcomings will have to disappear if Qiu hopes to ever prove that he can master this demanding vocation.Read the full story »
Cultural assumptions don’t always hold up in the light of reality. How does China of the 21st century stack up against views held in the US of the PRC as a rival for world power and economic might, a proverbial Red Tide rising up in the Far East?
New China, meet Old China. Now that the PRC is merging with the global economy, its once hermetically-sealed culture has opened itself to bold new influences. How successfully will the Chinese adapt changes to their time-honored culture?
After three decades of impressive economic growth, China has been jolted by the worldwide economic downturn. Millions of workers are unemployed and strains risk both livelihoods and the possibilities of social unrest. How is China coping?
Short on natural resources and dependent on exports, China now relies on the rest of the world in many ways. How do larger issues such as trade ties with South America and Africa or protectionism in the US play out at home in China?