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Rachel Lu

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Rachel Lu is a co-founder of Tea Leaf Nation. Rachel traces her ancestry to Southern China. She spent much of her childhood memorizing Chinese poetry. After long stints in New York, New Haven and Cambridge, she has returned to China to bear witness to its great transformation. She is currently based in China.

Articles by Author

Is China Losing its ‘Last Fair Path’ to Prosperity?

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From the look of things, it’s getting harder to be a cheater in China.The antifraud mechanisms used during China’s most recent annual college entrance exam, commonly known as the gaokao, have been compared to counter-terrorism measures. The parallel …

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Who Lectures China’s Leaders?

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The Communist Party Politburo is the de facto power center of China. Its members — currently 23 men and two women — make the policies that directly affect 1.3 billion Chinese citizens, and, indirectly, hundreds of millions …

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Hong Kong’s Angry, Anti-Mainland Counter-Vigil

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HONG KONG — On the 25th anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, two vastly different commemoration events are taking place on the mainland’s edges. The …

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The Communist Party’s Terrorism Survival Plan

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HONG KONG — Terrorism is on the mind of the average Chinese citizen these days. Assailants have attacked crowded areas like train stations and markets in large cities around China, indiscriminately killing travelers, vendors, and …

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China Gets Older and Lonelier

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Four Generations Under One Roof, a 1940s novel by author Lao She about life in Beijing under Japanese occupation, describes what was then an archetypal Chinese family: large, multigenerational, and united. But in modern China, …

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Why There Are No Credit Scores in China

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HONG KONG — Few would dispute that Chinese society suffers from a serious trust problem. After surviving crafty scams and shoddy products for years, Chinese people have become guarded with strangers and cautious in business dealings. …

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A Guide to Social Class in Modern China

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HONG KONG — Class is a sensitive word in China. Marxist-Leninist rhetoric like “class enemies,” “class conflict,” and “class struggle” are rarely seen in the country’s media these days, but since China began its market …

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Looking Who is Walking (Away with U.S. Passports)

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HONG KONG — On April 21, state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) ran a lengthy segment on the phenomenon of birth tourism. The numbers are staggering: According to a study cited by the report, in 2008, approximately 4,200 …

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Taiwan’s Squishy Youth Get Fierce

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Prior to the dramatic occupation of Taiwan’s legislature by students on March 18, young Taiwanese in their 20s had either been dubbed the “strawberry generation” — supposedly fragile and squishy — or the “22K generation,” …

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A Merkel, a Map, a Message to China?

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On March 28, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping at a dinner where they exchanged gifts. Merkel presented to Xi a 1735 map of China made by prolific French cartographer Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville …

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