By Barry Li Anyone who has visited the country recently knows the growth in China is real, and very visible. In 1950 some 544 million people lived mostly in villages; by 2015, the population had […]
Rich Chinese. Have any two words gone together more smoothly before in the Australian accent? The two seem inseparable while the alternative – Poor Chinese; spoiler alert for the next extract – is an oxymoron. This transcript from a conversation at an Aussie BBQ is about as authentic as it gets:
“Hey, Dazza mate, who bought the big house down the road?”
“Yeah, nah mate, dunno. Probably Chinese.”
By Barry Li Most Australians are familiar with China’s “one child policy”. Enforced around the time of my birth in China three and a half decades ago, this policy evolved into a “two child policy” […]
By Barry Li There was news recently that a lecturer from Monash University had unintentionally offended Chinese students with a question regarding Chinese stereotypes in a course quiz. Following university inquiries, the lecturer was suspended […]
The next excerpt from Barry Li’s The New Chinese is part history part statistics. Let’s just say outright that the numbers he provides from 2010 – 60 million native Cantonese speakers, 365 million native English speakers (one million for every day of the year!), and 960 million native Mandarin speakers – are incomprehensibly scary. How does the number of native English speakers from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe and all the others not even match half that of Mandarin speakers? If there were 960 million native French speakers in the world,
This read through of Barry Li’s The New Chinese: How They Are Changing Australia has now brought us to Chapter 2 – ‘From the Gold Rush to the Property Rush’. I’m attempting not to make it a dry, analytic recap; rather I try to add my thoughts and comments to Barry’s own, from the perspective of an Australian who’s studying Mandarin and spent a bit of time here and there in China,
I’ll admit: when I looked at this section title and glanced very briefly at the text I did wonder how I was going to make a blog post about this topic, and one not too dry at that. Then some words caught my attention – Qing empire, Honolulu, Opium Wars – and I realised a lot more could be found in this than just a clarification of definitions.
By Barry Li In the big, fast-moving consumer goods company my wife works for, management devotes a lot of energy to their China strategy. Last year one of their products, a mosquito repellent for children, […]
In 2013 my wife and I were looking to buy our first home – something bigger in a nice suburb with a good school nearby. During the inspection for a three-bedroom unit in Killara I […]
Here enters the second part of Barry Li’s recount. It’s the difficult one to do: critique and commenting on someone’s personal story, especially when it’s only just over three pages in length. I’m guessing we will probably learn more about Li from the rest of the book than just this section.
He’s 10 months old when he leaves his parents to live with relatives. He doesn’t live with them again until – I’m estimating rough dates here – about 14 years later to finish high school in Beijing. Is this normal? For an only child to be separated from his parents and live 2600kms away? It’s not uncommon in any case.