It wasn't very long ago that the Chinese blogosphere became engrossed with two near-simultaneous and very public posts by well-known expats marking their decisions to leave China for greener pastures. While grumbling about this country is nothing new, this event was notable for kicking off a flurry of media coverage internationally on the question of whether China is becoming hostile to foreigners, and when and to where disgruntled expats should hoof it.

That is why this week on Sinica we are delighted to be joined by none other than Will Moss of Imagethief, whose own valedictory post earlier this week made for surprisingly sentimental reading, being not the least negative about China and we think it's worth talking about why. Also up for discussion: what if anything does Xi Jinping mean in his public remarks on China's coming "restoration", and where is the best place in Beijing that we've found to date for azure magpie spotting.

Have a love-hate relationship with Sinica? Don't forget that you can subscribe to new episodes automatically using iTunes. Just select "Subscribe to Podcast" from the "Advanced" file menu and provide the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica when prompted. Or skip the hassle and download this show as a standalone mp3 file. Links to the other podcast downloads are all available on the individual show pages, which can be found in the Sinica archive.
 said on
December 7, 2012
Wish you success on your future endeavors Will! You're distinct outlook and voice definitely be missed.
 said on
December 8, 2012
LINKS!

Will's valedictory post http://imagethief.com/2012/11/im-leaving-china-and-it-doesnt-mean-a-thing/

Charlie Custer's Why I'm Leaving China http://chinageeks.org/2012/07/why-im-leaving-china/

Mark Kitto's Why You'll Never be Chinese http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/mark-kitto-youll-never-be-chinese-leaving-china/

Thomas Friedman's column http://topics.nytimes.com/top/opinion/editorialsandoped/oped/columnists/thomaslfriedman/index.html?inline=nyt-per

Daniel Bell's column http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-a-bell/

Jim McGregor's China went from being a closed system with open minds to an open system with closed minds http://jamesmcgregor-inc.com/2012/12/05/china-went-from-being-a-closed-system-with-open-minds-to-an-open-system-with-closed-minds/

Will's urban hikes maps

1. Transiting the Hutongs in the center of town: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:%2F%2Fwww.mapmyfitness.com%2Fws%2F4p%2Froutes%2Fget_route_kml%3Fconsumer_key%3Db513571b80685c74fa95b7755d916c24048889df4%26route_id%3D143361249%26display_custom_marker_flag%3D1%26last_updated%3D3&t=m&z=12

2. Map of the canal walk https://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:%2F%2Fwww.mapmyfitness.com%2Fws%2F4p%2Froutes%2Fget_route_kml%3Fconsumer_key%3Db513571b80685c74fa95b7755d916c24048889df4%26route_id%3D125993307%26display_custom_marker_flag%3D1%26last_updated%3D3&t=m&z=12

The latter half of the two walks is the same. Front two thirds are different.

RECOMMENDATIONS!

Will: China. Come. www.expedia.com www.travelocity.com

Jeremy: 1. Beijing Birding Facebook Page www.facebook.com/BirdingBeijing

2. Beijing Cream http://beijingcream.com/

3. Azure wing-tipped magpie

Kaiser: 1. Mark Leonard coming soon to the podcast!

2. Mark Leonard's China 3.0 (PDF) - http://ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR66_CHINA_30_final.pdf
 said on
December 8, 2012
Where are the links you spoke of in the podcast???????
 said on
December 8, 2012
disregard my last comment. just discovered your "recommendations!".

But I'd like to ask, Why stick them at the end of the shownotes, all the way AFTER the comments, and not before the comments section??????
 said on
December 8, 2012
Disregard all of my comments so far.

Just woke up!!!!

1st time on your website.

Found it thru Blubrry.

Interested in some of your comments in the podcast (mp3 file) but think you're way off base on some of your conclusions of some of the Chinese Leaders' public comments.

Just remember, in spite of the apocalyptic words, we've woken the Dragon. And to what I believe will be everyone's dismay, unlike the often stereotyped benevolent Chinese dragon, this one is going to prove itself more in line with the Western, fire-breathing, human-eating variety and claim what it perceives as it's rightful place in the world as it well pleases; through any means it see fit. It's motto is, "The end justifies the means." They have nothing to gain and much to lose by playing ball with the world according to current world agreed upon business practices. In fact, just as the blacks in American history changed the games of baseball & basketball, just as the Spanish did with Central & South America peoples, just as the American government did with the native American tribes, just as the Vikings did with the slave market in northern Europe, the Chinese will set new "Chinese" standards for "doing business" - any way they see fit as long as it achieves their goals of world supremacy & dominance. We have seen evidence of this numerous times. Look at their space race to the moon. Look at the technology they have pilfered from both the factories that they demanded had to be built in China to do business with China and the fifth element of cadre scientist and mathematicians strategically located throughout the world. Look at how they have hoarded certain exotic minerals & metals from the world market. Look at how they "annexed" Tibet & Inner Mongolia. Look at the stepped-up insurgency actions in the South China Seas and with Japan. And watch out America. China owns more of America than America - they have, what, 1 Trillion dollars invested in America. They could break America just by cashing in. And it's not the only country they have "invested" in. They have gone well beyond what President Kennedy hoped to accomplish with his Peace Corp. Hark my words.
 said on
December 8, 2012
Minor quibble, I think Mark Kitto's Welsh not English. Great podcast as usual, I was recently back in Beijing and reacquainted myself with winter longjohns, chuanr and yanjing beer :-) good times.
 said on
December 8, 2012
This episode is timely for me because I just moved to China from Seattle on Sunday! (I'm signed up for at least a year) I'm still in that adorable neophyte stage where I have to psych myself up to go out for dinner alone. But urban hiking is a great way to engage with the city apart from language. It just feels natural here in a way it never did in the states. Loved my walk from 东直门 to 大望路 today. It was freaking cold though.

Can't wait to try out some of Will's other hikes and find some of those secret canal spots. Wish you the best, Will!
 said on
December 9, 2012
Thanks, Mike. And do try to walk. Some if it isn't very nice, but some of it is very nice indeed. I remember the neophyte stage well, including how terrified I was the first time I went to the supermarket, took the subway by myself, etc. Enjoy it while it lasts!
 said on
December 9, 2012
@tallmike - have you gotten hold of a copy of Beijing by Foot? There's some good walks in there, I had a great summer following two or three of them a week.

http://www.immersionguides.com/products/15/
 said on
December 10, 2012
A big thanks to Will for sharing his walks. I have many fond memories of romping multiple kilometers through Beijing, and it is something that I hope to do more of in the future. I always felt that I should know more than just the central areas inside 3rd ring road if I want to claim to be a Beijing resident.
 said on
December 11, 2012
A great but strangely sad podcast (considering I don't actually know Will). Thanks guys!

Quick off-topic question: what songs play at the beginning and end of each podcast, (I assume they are from Tang Dynasty) and are they available on iTunes?
 said on
December 13, 2012
遊俠, the song actually isn't Tang Dynasty but Chunqiu (Kaiser's more recent band). The song is called 猎人 (The Huntsman) and yes, it's available from iTunes of from Baidu Music for free. same song at the beginning and the end.
 said on
November 29, 2013
With Sinica I don't have a love-hate relationship but with China I do have. However all this "time to leave China" talk is rather surprising since nothing has happened to we didn't know would happen already. Unless you are ignorant of course.. oh well. I wouldn't live in China permanently but I love to visit. That's my way to get around my 'love-hate relationship' with this stunning country. Re., Vic. "think positive!"

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