Michael R. Jeffers's blog

China Hikes Domestic Fuel Prices

A day after I wrote my blog about the fuel shortages caused by China’s artificially low state-controlled prices, the government raised the price of diesel by 18 percent, the equivalent of $3.83 a gallon.

With Low Fixed Gas Prices in China, Soaring Oil Costs Mean Long Lines at the Pump

A long line of lumbering two-ton trucks were backed up for at least a mile along one of Hangzhou’s major highways by 11 a.m. the other day. As we crept by stopped trucks and gruff-looking drivers passing time on the roadside, our taxi driver said the holdup was at the fuel station. We soon learned that the state-owned Sinopec station would only be selling diesel until 4 p.m.

A Tale of Two Muslims

Walking down a major Beijing thoroughfare in search of a subway station, I passed a mustached man of olive-colored skin on a flatbed tricycle loaded with che, a sweet snack made of peanuts and fruit. He asked if I wanted to buy some, and offered a free sample. The man spoke Chinese with a heavy accent, and I realized he was not an ethnic Chinese, but a Uighur, one of China’s ethnic and religious minorities.

Beijing Sex Shops Signal A New Cultural Revolution

Within walking distance of our guesthouse in central Beijing, I was surprised to come across three shops specializing in adult products and noticed even more interspersed throughout the city. Nothing like that had ever crossed my sights when I spent a year living here as a student a mere decade ago. Today's shops sell massage devices, oils, lingerie and other treasures once striclty forbidden in the People's Republic.

How Deep Are the Changes?

I was disoriented when I arrived at the shining new Beijing Capital International Airport. The digital signs of the sleek facility are more modern than most of the world’s largest airports and the floors gleam. But after my luggage failed to arrive and I was forced to use my rusty Chinese skills to investigate the matter with airport officials, I began to suspect China has not changed as much as the American media would have one believe.

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