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'Do They Think This Is 1840?' Chinese Media Criticizes US For Demanding Trade Deficit Reduction

On May 4 the Trump administration demanded that the Chinese government implement measures to cut its $200 trade surplus with the United States, lower import tariffs and reduce advanced technology subsidies.
A US delegation headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing on May 3 to hold trade talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
Chinese media published a document allegedly submitted by the US delegation to the Chinese side during the negotiations. "At present, the United States-China trade relationship is significantly imbalanced," the paper states. "United States investment and the sale of services into China remain severely constrained. China's industrial policies now targeting U.S. technologies and intellectual property pose significant economic and security concerns to the United States. There is an immediate need for the United States and China to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China by ensuring that China's market is open to United St…
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China Demands US Airlines Stop Referring To Taiwan As A Country

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has sent a letter to United Airlines and American Airlines demanding that they stop referring to Taiwan as a country.
China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and consistently pressures foreign governments to endorse its claims.
According to Foreign Policy, Beijing requested that the two American airlines abide by Chinese "separatism" legislation and remove from their global websites all references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as independent countries.
China allegedly threatened to punish the airlines if they fail to comply with its requests.
A spokesperson for the US State Department told Taiwan's Central News Agency that the American government is opposed to Chinese standards being imposed upon US businesses and consumers, stressing that in the US Chinese websites enjoy full freedom and are not subjected to political interference.
Since Chinese president Xi Jinping took office in 2012, Beijing has become increasingly a…

7 Reasons Why Hong Kong Is A Great Place To Live

In 2013 I wrote a post about 7 reasons why it's good to live in Taiwan based on my one-year experience in the country. Now I would like to talk about another place which I love, and which I have perhaps loved more than any other: Hong Kong.
When I was growing up in a small town in Southern Italy, I knew very little about Hong Kong. As a child I remember watching the handover ceremony in 1997, yet at that time I did not really understand much about what was going on. That is my first, vague memory of Hong Kong.
Years later, when I was in my early twenties, I watched a short documentary about Hong Kong on Italian television. I was captivated by the energy and modernity of that exotic metropolis. I thought that some day I would like to visit it. However, it was not on my list of priorities. I wanted to go to Japan, mainland China, South Korea, far more than I wished to go to Hong Kong.
In late 2011 I decided to go to Taiwan because of a girl I had met in Germany. While I was there, …

Rome's Beggar Problem

Whenever I walk along via Marsala towards Rome's Termini train station, I see a middle-aged black man sitting in front of a church. He wears shabby clothes, and his left leg is wrapped in bandages that make it look as if his foot had been amputated. It appears as if he does nothing all day except for asking people for money. 
One afternoon, as I was passing by that church, the man, after having received a coin from a tall, blond tourist, suddenly - and perhaps believing that no one was watching him - took off his bandages, revealing a perfectly intact, healthy foot. 
As I drew closer to him, our eyes met. I smiled and shook my head disapprovingly. He, too, smiled, and I believe to have discerned a hint of embarrassment, if not shame, on his face. 
Rome has a serious problem with people roaming around the city and asking for money. To be fair, this does not concern only immigrants, but also locals. Recently I bumped into a guy from Naples who claimed to be a member of an organizat…

A New Life, A New Blog - From Asia To Europe

In 2012 I started 'My New Life In Asia' as a personal blog revolving around my every day experiences in Taiwan. During the first two years of this blog's existence, I published hundreds of articles - some personal, others about culture and history - and I found that blogging is a wonderful way of systematizing the process of understanding a foreign country, of sharing thoughts with people from all over the world. 
In 2014, however, I gradually lost my commitment to blogging. My father got ill and almost a year later he passed away. Recently, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Worries, anxiety and stress have made made it impossible for me to blog the way I used to. 
Between 2012 and early 2014 I was curious and carefree. I loved to read books about Taiwan and East Asia, combine that knowledge with my personal experiences, and then provide on this blog my own perspective and analysis. Since my father passed away, however, I haven't been as carefree as in the p…

Hong Kong - Walk From Sai Ying Pun To Smithfield Public Library (Kennedy Town)

Yesterday I decided to take a walk from Sai Ying Pun to Smithfield Public Library, a small library in Kennedy Town. 
People who like old architecture will probably not be interested in sightseeing in this modern area. But I love skyscrapers and densely populated cities, so I want to share some pictures with you. 





Luis De Camoes Square In Macau

I am always stunned by how many nice buildings and little corners there are in Macau, the former Portuguese colony that looks like a piece of southern Europe transplanted into Asia. 
A few days ago I was strolling around in Macau's city centre when suddenly I spotted from afar a church at the end of a side alley. I decided to walk up to that street, without knowing that it would lead me to a beautiful small square named after the Portuguese writer Luis de Camoes.
Here are some picture of my short walk.