Alec Ash

Alec Ash is a writer in Beijing, and founding editor of the Anthill. His book Wish Lanterns (Picador, 2016) is available at the Beijing Bookworm

Posts by Alec Ash

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Life Underground

Is there light at the end of the tunnel? – by Alec Ash

 

One of Dahai's simple pleasures is a cold bottle of Yanjing beer, or two, and a Zhongnanhai brand cigarette, after a long day's work underground. Born Yu Hai in 1985, his nickname means "Big Ocean", and he would drink an ocean of cold Yanjing beer if the restaurant opposite his work site only stocked it. Over the course of the last six years, he possibly has.

Dahai is building a tunnel. When it is completed at the end of this year, all going well, it will connect Beijing West Train Station to Beijing Train Station, 9 km away, and an express underground train line will run between the two. Construction began in 2005, and Dahai joined in 2008, right after graduating.

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Why I Blog

Orwell's motives for writing in the blog age – by Alec Ash

 

On Tuesday the 18th, 8pm at iQiYi cafe opposite the Bookworm, I'm on the panel for Blogging China, part of the Bookworm literary festival. It should be a free ranging discussion of English language blogs about China, hosted by Anthony Tao from Beijing Cream, with Mia Li from Sinosphere, Tao Stein, and Jeremy Goldkorn.

George Orwell, in his essay Why I Write, said there are four motives for writing of any kind: (i) Sheer egoism, (ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm, (iii) Historical impulse, and (iv) Political purpose. I figured I'd do the same for why I blog.

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Bling Dynasty

Comedy in China – a Q&A with Jesse Appell

 

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Postcard from Xinjiang

It was the first day of the Chinese new year in Urumqi, not that many Uighurs particularly cared. It's not their holiday (although there was a Uighur language spring festival gala). But it was also a Friday, which meant the biggest weekly public prayer at the Grand Bazaar. The Bazaar itself, the world's largest, was closed. Outside it, hundreds of Muslims laid out their mats, kneeled and prostrated themselves to the yodelling refrain of "Allah Akbar" coming from the speaker system.

Across the street, a clump of security guards watched them, looking bored.

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A Modest Proposal

For preventing the Corrupt officials of China from being a Burden to their country's Progress and for making them Beneficial to the Public

 

It is a melancholy object to travel through this great country of China, and see its provincial cities, towns and villages burdened by the venality of its corrupt local officials. These Party Chiefs, Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries, instead of honest service implementing the well intentioned directives of central authority, rely on fat envelopes and splendid gifts, handed under-table or with excessive ceremony, for comfort beyond what is necessary or appropriate, while their appetite at the table weighs down both themselves and the Nation.

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