The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Beijing’

The Blue-shirts

September 29, 2015 | by

Xi Jinping at the China Victory Day Parade in Beijing earlier this month. Photo via Jalopnik

China’s president Xi Jinping has just left the U.S. after his first state visit, though you’d hardly know it to read the papers; his stay was overshadowed by a certain pontiff. Americans, if they know Xi at all, have likely seen a certain image of him from earlier this month in Beijing: he’s standing in a sleek open-roofed black car, riding past a huge crowd of people waving tiny Chinese flags. He looks almost sheepish, or bored, or, more likely, hot. The weather that day pushed ninety degrees, and Xi is wearing a high-collared black jacket that toes the line between a traditional Chinese tangzhuang and a Western-style suit.

The occasion was a massive military parade (perhaps better translated as a showing of the troops) in Beijing, in early September, which marked the seventieth anniversary of the Chinese defeat of invading Japanese forces, known in the West as the end of the WWII and here as the “Anti-Japanese War.” There were two main articles about the parade in the English-language China Daily at the time, one about the “beautiful lady” troops (with a special photo spread of smiling young women in uniform) and one a feature on a pair of older generals who had lost more than ten kilograms each in their effort to get into fighting shape for the parade.

The Chinese coverage was more along these lines: “On the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the victory, we commemorate the heroic and indomitable Chinese people, fighting bloody battles and making tremendous sacrifices, defeating ferocious Japanese invaders and safeguarding China’s independence and national pride.” (That’s from the People’s Daily.) Read More »

Xi Chuan, Beijing

February 3, 2012 | by

A series on what writers from around the world see from their windows.

This is one of three windows in my study. The study is a one-bedroom apartment on the fifteenth floor. I don’t know how many stories this building has—probably twenty-five or more—but I have never been above the seventeenth floor.

During the day, if I don’t need to be at school, I stay in my study. It is crowded with books and old objects I collected from flea markets. I don’t have many friends visit me. I used to have a neighbor who was the manager of a small company that installed central heating. He occasionally came to talk with me, and I discovered that he had been a lover of poetry when he was young. I am sure he didn’t know who I was, though, so I told him that I was a teacher of literature, which is true.

The window faces east. When I sit at my desk in front of a wall of books, writing, the window is to my left. When I bought this apartment, which is a fifteen-minute walk from my home, in the late nineties, the building standing in front of my window was already there, as was the bridge, but the building behind the bridge was not, so there was a vast view across the city. But the whole city of Beijing was a giant construction site in the nineties and 2000s, and the view couldn’t last. Once I got used to the buildings in the window, I seldom looked out of it. No trees can reach the fifteenth floor, so no birds perch at my window. When I look out, I see cars running on the bridge. Nothing else. —Xi Chuan