Retirees Fight for Justice After Alleged Government Scam

The protestors returned to the courtyard of the Hebei Guesthouse in Beijing this week, and as a result I got a deeper understanding of the details involving their eight-year struggle to reclaim funds allegedly lost in an investment promoted by the Heibei provincial government.

A Shot of Sincerity

I find myself in this alley near Houhai everyday. There is a coffee shop where I drink milky tea and a small dive where I drink cheap shots at night. Further along, past the tea and pipe shops, the path curves to the left, over a small bridge that leads you into the bar district lining the shores of the lake.

But if you go straight into a crumbly alleyway instead of following the path over the bridge, you might come across Mrs. Xing, 51, selling incense outside the gate of Guanghua Temple.

Beijing Bebop

The backing band is playing Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage," but it's clear this isn't the saxophonist's first time around the block. He takes the song's familiar form and makes it something all his own, like a cab driver who knows the destination but chooses to take the scenic route.

I'm in the audience of Beijing's CD Jazz Cafe with no voice recorder, notepad or even a pen. Being a reporter, that's like leaving home with no clothes on.

Mantra of Success

The national television game show Outlook English, in which Chinese youth compete to demonstrate their English language skills, has taken on an American Idol-like popularity. The show was originally conceived to raise the level of spoken English in anticipation of the 2008 Olympics. More than 20,000 teenage contestants entered this year's competition. By May 31 the field had narrowed to three finalists who went head-to-head for the championship at a China Central Television studio in Beijing.

Backstage at a Fujian Opera

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Fujian opera is one of many forms of Chinese opera, a classic art form with codified and ritual postures, facial expressions, and makeup. I went backstage and stepped directly into the dramatic storm: last-minute preparations for an opera in honor of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

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Photo by Katherine Fan

A hair stylist at the Mei-Li hair salon in Beijing, China, leads her colleagues in their daily calisthenics routine. "Our military-style discipline and teamwork promotes a consistent atmosphere that benefits customers and employees alike," said Mei-Li owner, Chi-Lai Cheng.

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Photo by Katherine Fan

Mei-Li hair salon owner Cheng Qilai attributes his salon's success to the "military-style discipline and teamwork" that characterizes his employee management model.

The Great Wall Descent

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Join the China on the Brink reporting crew as we make our brave descent of the Great Wall.

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