Feeding the hungry giant


How will China, a nation with 22% of the world’s population but with only 9% of the world’s arable land, continue to feed her people?

Little red taxis — they were everywhere. Blowing their horns. Weaving in and out of the traffic. Scaring me. And the bikes! Wherever I looked, little red taxis and bikes — my first and lasting impression of Beijing in 1995. And people! People all around me — people, people, people. All busy going somewhere. Doing something. Eating. Walking. Cycling. Eating. Did I say eating? Oh and can the Chinese eat! They do love their food.

Wedding of the year?


This is the type of high-profile romance Hong Kong tabloids revel in. It is also the worst kind of relationship for eager relatives wanting to gain from the union – an on-and-off-and-then-on-and-maybe-off-again one.

The billion-yuan question: are China and Disney coming together to build a theme park in Shanghai?

shangai pearl tower

Some of the villagers simply can't wait for the government to evict them from their homes. "Next June," one predicted optimistically.

Such is the pragmatism that exists sometimes in the Chinese psyche. Never mind the ancestral home, think about the compensation that will come from the state. Others are looking to the day when the arrival of a Disneyland in the Pudong area will skyrocket the value of their properties by quite a few-fold.

Are they counting the chickens in their backyard before they are even hatched? Shanghai has been watching the possible deal since its then-mayor Zhu Rongji visited the Magic Kingdom in 1990 with the intention of setting up a match. Eighteen years have passed, Zhu has added "Governor, Central Bank",  "Vice Premier, China" and "Prime Minister of China" to his resume, and still, no deal.

Accidental hero


Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt may well have saved China’s mobile phone industry.

In a career that spans 26 years, Eric Schmidt has been many things. Until 2001 he was best known as the CEO of Novell, a Silicon Valley software firm. Today he is famed – and admired and feared and hated – as chairman and CEO of Google. But by the time he retires, the 53-year-old Schmidt may be known by another title – the man who saved China's mobile phone business.

Risky high risers


This September, the Burj will be completed in the United Arab Emirates, making it the world's tallest building. Yet it seems everytime a record-breaking skyscraper goes up, the financial market in the country goes down. measures the Curse of the Skyscraper Index.

What is the likelihood that Shanghai will be hit by a recession next year?

Feeding the hungry giant (Part 2 of 2)


How will China, a nation with 22% of the world’s population but with only 9% of the world’s arable land, continue to feed her people?

< BACK to Feeding the hungry giant (Part 1 of 2)

Momofuku Ando : Creator of instant noodles


At age 48, Bill Gates had been the richest man in the world for a decade, Albert Einstein had won the Nobel Prize for Physics and Napoleon had conquered Europe and spent two years of forced exile on the island of St Helena. For Momofuku Ando, his career was just about to begin.

If you knew ramen like I know ramen


Around 300 AD the Chinese made wheat flour noodles. They never patented the idea and the humble noodle travelled east to Korea and Japan with the spread of trade and Buddhism.

A tale of two terminals


The British and the Chinese both built airports. Who did it better?

In March 2008, two of the most groundbreaking airport terminals in history were opened within two days of each other. Both terminals were designed by British architects – the Richard Rogers Partnership for Terminal 5 of Heathrow (T5) and Norman Foster for Beijing International’s Terminal 3 (T3). Both were built at astronomical costs, of US$8.5 billion and US$3.5 billion, respectively, to deal with the rising numbers of international passengers.

Blind man's bluff


A 79-year-old woman triumphs over a revisionist historian's assault.

"We remember the suffering of the individual women who were subjected to sexual violence by the Japanese military, lament the victims of wartime sexual violence throughout the world, pray for a peaceful world without war." These words are inscribed in 12 languages on a cenotaph unveiled on Japan's Okinawa island.

Apology for a rape


The Nanjing Massacre is a sore point in Sino-Japanese relations and something has to be done about it soon.

nanjing massacre

A Sino-Japanese time bomb is ticking. If nothing is done to defuse it, it will explode in December 2007, when China commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Rape of Nanjing.