China

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Pollution in Asia can influence weather over much of the world. Those are the findings from a new climate study from northwest researchers, who teamed up with researchers from Texas.

timbu / Flickr

For the first time, U.S. officials reported on recent meetings in Beijing to discuss China's ban on shellfish imports from most of the West Coast.

China Exporting More Than Just Goods To US

Jan 22, 2014

The goods produced in China and sold to the U.S. come at an environmental cost, according to a new study. Scientists are linking air pollution in the Western United States to China’s booming exports.

lola um/Flickr

Washington health officials have been testing shellfish from an area believed to be contaminated with arsenic. China banned all imports of shellfish from much of the west coast after finding high levels of arsenic in geoduck clams harvested near Tacoma in October.

One of the challenges of writing about China is the country moves fast — sometimes faster than the publishing business. Take Enigma of China, the latest detective novel by Chinese-American author Qiu Xiaolong.

In one scene, Qiu's main character, Inspector Chen, sits in a Shanghai restaurant scanning a hotel where government agents are holding a corrupt official in secret detention.

Recently, Qiu took me on a tour of the book's real-life settings, including the site of that eatery.

Fast-forward to a few hundred years into the future: Resources in the United States are scarce. The government has fallen apart and most of the population has left, looking for a better life somewhere else.

Immigrant laborers — many from China — have come to fill the labor void, and life in the new America is divided into three distinct societies. First, the Charters, walled-off cities populated by the elites. Next are the working-class cities where the laborers live, and last are the lawless and wild places in between.

timbu / Flickr

China banned all imports of shellfish from Alaska to Northern California last week. Chinese officials said two samples of geoduck came back with high levels of arsenic and the toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.

China Closes Doors To All West Coast Shellfish Imports

Dec 13, 2013
timbu/Flickr

China has closed its doors to all imports of West coast shellfish. Chinese officials tested samples of geoduck clams and found elevated levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.

Family secrets, life-changing betrayals and the paradox of wondering about the old country while belonging to the new are at the heart of Amy Tan's work. She enthralled readers of her phenomenally successful first novel, The Joy Luck Club (1989), with the interlocking stories of four Chinese-born mothers and their four California-born daughters. Tan followed up with equally enduring portraits of fierce immigrant mothers who withheld secrets of the past while pushing their daughters forward in The Kitchen God's Wife (1991), and The Bonesetter's Daughter (2001).

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