In 2009, the number of people studying English in China was roughly equal to the population of the U.S. In 2012, Chinese people spent a total of $4.8 billion on English lessons. China is the world’s biggest market for English-as-a-foreign-language. Chinese people spend more time and energy learning English than any other nation in the world. But for all this effort, Chinese students of English are still failing to achieve real proficiency. Why is this? Is the “English craze” actually detrimental to students?
There is no feeling quite like picking up a fresh dumpling on the verge of bursting out of its semi-transluscent skin and nibbling a small hole in the skin to suck out the devilishly good filling: orgasmic. And while it’s a big wide world of dumplings out there, the crabby goodness of 小笼包 (xiǎolóngbāo) is surely king in the dumpling stakes.
Literally “small steaming basket buns”, xiǎolóngbāo is not your average dumpling. This type of bun bears the typical characteristics of Jiangnan (immediate south of the lower reaches of Yangtze River) cuisine, boasting intricate folds, a delicate size, the softest yet juicy texture, and an incredible explosion of salacious flavors. Whether it’s pork, bamboo shoots, or shrimp, the filling is always minced to ensure softness and saturation, epitomizing the Jiangnan taste.
China’s government has put a value on the aid largess that makes its leaders welcome visitors in many of the world’s poorest nations: $14.41 billion. That’s the amount China’s government said it provided in aid over the three years between 2010 and 2012 to poorer countries through grants, interest-free loans and concessional lending. About half the money to 121 countries was earmarked to African states, according to China’s second white paper on foreign aid, published Thursday.
Photo of the Day: No fishing allowed by Dheera Venkatraman
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Fracking has some potential to offset China’s dependence on coal, but already-burdened local communities will still bear the brunt of resulting costs. Panel discussion at Asia Society New York on Wednesday, June 11.
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The sun shines on the central business district in Hong Kong on May 7, 2014. (november-13/Flickr)
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