CHINA ARTICLES by Brian Hennessy

Slow train to Chongqing

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. April 2015 In China, it always pays to book transport the day before. That's how I missed out on a comfortable two-hour fast rail journey from Chengdu to Chongqing (350kms), and was forced to wait four hours for a slow train which would take another four and a half hours [...]

Ciqikou. Ancient village

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. September, 2016 If you want to get an idea of what Chongqing used to look like, visit Ciqikou in Shapingba District. It is both a symbol and a microcosm of old Chongqing. This fascinating old village is perched above the Jialing River which flows downstream to its confluence with the Yangtze at [...]

Demolishing history

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. August, 2016. Modern Chongqing is a booming metropolis containing 6.5 million residents (within a municipality of 30 million people). It straddles the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers upstream from the Three Gorges Dam, is 1600 kilometres west of Shanghai, and is the Beijing government’s hub for growth in the hinterland of [...]

On worrying about China

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. September, 2016 Western analysts are reporting that the Chinese economy is a worry: too much debt, missallocated capital, a pegged currency, and a political system which refuses to reform itself. The fear is: if China sinks, the rest of the world may go down with her. Is a collapse imminent? [...]

Turpan: on the Silk Road

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. Sept/Oct, 2015 Turpan used to be a stopover on the northern Silk Road in what is now the province of Xinjiang in western China. It is adjacent to the eastern Tian Shan (Heavenly Mountain) on the edge of a Taklamakan desert depression called the Turpan Basin. It is 154 metres [...]

Dunhuang: on the Silk Road

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. September/October, 2015 Located near the eastern end of the Silk Road, Dunhuang and its ancient Mogao caves contain an extraordinary number of religious artifacts, shrines, and secular manuscripts. Together they open a window into China's fascinating history. Here is a little bit of it to whet your appetite.   Dunhuang: [...]

Bamboo Sea

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. May, 2015 I had been thinking about visiting the Bamboo Sea (Zhu Hai) near Yibin for years. You know how it is: places close to home (in this case, three hours by road from Chongqing) never seem as exotic as those further away. Nevertheless, when my friend Xiaojin who comes from [...]

To Danba: in West Sichuan

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. May 2015 Dānbā (丹巴) is an isolated county in western Sichuan populated by Qiang and Tibetan peoples. I had hoped to visit this mountainous area and its famous watchtowers a few years ago, but the 2008 Sichuan earthquake had destroyed the roads. In 2015, I was able to travel there by local [...]

In China: what is truth?

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. April, 2015 It’s always difficult to comment on China. Paradoxically, this rigid Confucian society appears to change from one day to the next. Whether this is cultural reality or personal confusion, I am not sure. Nevertheless those of us who have lived in the Middle Kingdom for a long time have learned [...]

Xi Jinping’s plan

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. March, 2015 China’s president, Xi Jinping, is an enigma. On the one hand he presents as a modern leader who many hope will guide his nation away from the social and political strictures of a command economy toward a more open society. On the other hand, he appears to be buttressing the [...]


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