February 3, 2013
Xu Liangying, 92, a renowned Chinese rights advocate, physicist, and translator of Albert Einstein's writings, died Jan. 28, in Beijing's university district, where he lived for many years. No cause of death was given. Mr. Xu began translating Einstein in 1962 after being forced to leave his job as editor of a leading science journal for criticizing the policies of the Communist Party led by Mao Tse-tung. He was the main translator of the three volumes of The Collected Works of Einstein in Chinese and initiated or wrote numerous letters and petitions defending human rights.
June 21, 2012 |
It's said that every revolution needs true believers. And no one believed harder or longer — or paid more dearly for it — than Sidney Rittenberg. Rittenberg, 90, is the only American citizen ever admitted to the Chinese Communist Party, a onetime confidant of Mao. In return for his idealism and devotion, he was twice thrown into Chinese prisons on false charges, serving a total of 16 years, all in solitary confinement. Now, the definitive story of Rittenberg's rise, fall, and rebirth is told in a new film, The Revolutionary, produced and edited by Philadelphia-area native Don Sellers.
August 18, 2011
There is a rumor in my mother's family that we are direct descendants of Genghis Khan, the 13th-century Mongol conqueror. In reality, we are most likely related to Khan's General Subutai, a military genius who orchestrated the Mongol's clean sweep of 32 nations. With cunning, diplomacy, and the use of huge stone-throwers, Subutai is said to have overrun more territory than any other general in history, and, along with Genghis Khan, paved the way for the opening of direct contact between East Asia and the West.
July 10, 2011
Daniel K. Gardner is a professor of history and the director of the program in East Asian studies at Smith College and the author of ChinaMusings.com Mao Tse-tung, Confucius, and Louis Vuitton have been mixing it up lately on China's most renowned stage: Tiananmen Square. For decades, Mao's portrait has hung over the Tiananmen Gate, at the entrance to the Forbidden City, even as his embalmed body has lain in the mausoleum built immediately after his death in the center of the square.
August 20, 2010 |
You would think that a period piece that celebrates the accomplishments of a Chinese-born-and-trained ballet dancer would have a ready-made audience in the country where it was filmed and set. But "Mao's Last Dancer" won't be showing in Chinese cinemas any time soon. (The film opens today in Philadelphia at the Ritz Five.) "The Chinese government doesn't want anyone reminded that Chairman Mao was a lunatic," chuckled Bruce Beresford, the film's blunt Australian director. "China stopped making movies about the Cultural Revolution as if they want to forget it," said Joan Chen, the Chinese-born actress who plays the mother who gives up her son to be raised and trained by the state during China's turbulent Cultural Revolution of the '60s and '70s.
August 7, 2008 |
Pulling open a heavy glass door, Terri Sun enters the cool marble lobby of Phoenixtec Power Co., one of many new factories in this runaway metropolis near Hong Kong. She hurries past a bank of clocks set for Tokyo, Beijing, New Delhi, Paris, and Cleveland - the last a nod to the factory's new owner, the Eaton Corp. Terri has a long day of meetings. She needs to talk to the plant manager, a transplant from Taiwan; an Eaton colleague from New Jersey; and the on-site Chinese controller.
June 29, 2008 |
When the earthquake hit, Paula Silver felt the table rattle and the room sway in Chongqing. Then a Chinese colleague told everyone to flee. "Suddenly, I hear lots of screams and running, and so I figure we ought to run," said Silver, a Widener University administrator who was in China last month as part of an educational exchange program. "I'm not quite sure why we're running. And then it occurs to me: They think the building's going to collapse. " Fortunately for Silver, the Chongqing buildings didn't suffer serious structural damage in the May 12 disaster.
June 8, 2008 |
BEIJING - A cacophony of piano music spills from the 14 lesson rooms at the Piano City music store as a big digital clock in a waiting area counts down the time on lessons. On this Sunday, more than 100 students will file in and out for music lessons, including 11-year-old Jesse Cheng. Her parents say families in China are keen to train their children in music, especially piano or violin, to give them an edge in life. "This may be helpful in the future," said Frank Cheng, who owns an information-technology company.
May 30, 2008 |
In a hilltop mansion on this tiny tourist island off the southern port of Xiamen, Yin Chengzong, 67, plunges into the Yellow River Concerto on his Steinway grand piano. Almost 40 years ago Yin, with three others, composed this anthem of the Cultural Revolution, universally maligned by Western critics but deeply beloved by millions here. As he plays, a student from Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music - back home in China for a month of study with Yin - waits for a lesson. So does a 14-year-old Beijing boy, whose father calls Yin "a master of Chinese piano.
July 10, 2004 |
Twenty-five years ago this month, America tuned out. A midnight-blue-and-silver brick with astonishing sound debuted in July 1979. Called the Soundabout, Sony's TPS-L2 cassette player was an investment at $199.95. It didn't record or come with a speaker. But it was sociable: Two could listen at once through a pair of headphone jacks, and an orange button called the Hotline let you talk over the music. Quickly, Sony scrapped the name, and went with what it called the pocket-size player in the Japanese market: Walkman.