First contact

August 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

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The Age of Ambition

August 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

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The August issue of Literary Review has my piece on Evan Osnos’ impressive book on the last decade in China (and scorn for another book). Print only! Well, and on some tablets too…

‘Virtual water’

July 31, 2014 § Leave a comment

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An interview I did for china dialogue on China’s water scarcity and agriculture is now online.

Australia scraps its carbon tax because the weather isn’t getting hotter there or something

July 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

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More here. By me.

external exile

July 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Story of the Production and Construction Corps

July 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on the art of life in chinese central asia:

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A rifle and sword tied together with a red flag over a meter of Gobi sand welcomes visitors to the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Museum in the city of Shihezi – 136 kilometers northwest of Ürümchi.  This museum, filled with patched and dented artifacts and hundreds of large scale historical photos, is the premiere monument to the Han experience of the recent past in Xinjiang. It shows us the narrative of experience necessary to understand the history of the people who self-identify as “constructors” (jianshezhe) of Xinjiang.

The Bingtuan, as the Corps is referred to by locals, is a state-sponsored farm system that is spread across the territory of Xinjiang – an area as large as California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico combined. Hundreds of regiments are still in operation 60 years after their founding. Out of this population of around 3 million military farmers…

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What We Talk About When We Talk About ‘the Uyghurs’

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Back street in Urumqi, September 2013

Back street in Urumqi, September 2013

Firstly, apologies to Raymond Carver for being yet another desecrator of his great title.

Secondly- this is the title of my latest piece on Xinjiang, which is in the Summer issue of Dissent mag.

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