From the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, a special issue on China’s Politics under Hu Jintao. From The Economist, a special report on China and America. From the Asian Review of Books, a review of Military Culture in Imperial China by Nicola di Cosmo; and a review of Friends and Enemies: The Past, Present and Future of the Communist Party of China by Kerry Brown. John Lee on why China's 60th birthday is nothing to celebrate. A review of Will the Boat Sink the Water? The Life of Chinese Peasants by Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao. From The Atlantic Monthly, in Yunnan province, two Americans struggle to save an ancient town from kitsch; and James Fallows thought China was killing him, but that was unfair. Tom Scocca reviews The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China by Hannah Pakula and When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order by Martin Jacques. A nation attacked by terrorists or an oppressed minority?: However one interprets the recent violence in Xinjiang, it was far from unexpected. China's race problem: Ethnocentrism might foil its quest to become the next superpower. The Hermit Kingdom: Is North Korea an unchanging, irrational Stalinist dictatorship? Four days in North Korea: In Pyongyang, the lights go out at 9 p.m. Here are some surprising findings in North and South Korea. Simon Schama says comedy rubs shoulders with catastrophe at the Demilitarised Zone that divides the two Koreas. The world of underground tattooing: South Koreans are starting to embrace tattoos, but they have to go to underground parlors to get them.

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