Greener Than Expected, US-Mao Meeting in WWII, Zhejiang Railway Station, Night Bus, Panama-China Relations Commentary from the Web, Week 29, 2022

'Greener than expected': Noticing the overlooked color of Beijing in summer – SupChina

For five months of the year, from May to September, this city is brilliantly green. Beijing’s green space per capita is similar to cities like Denver and greater than New York. It could become even more green in the future, as China’s most recent Five-Year Plan calls for further increases to green spaces in cities across the country. “Since 2001,” the New York Times notes, “China has nearly quintupled the acreage of public green space in its cities, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Development.” My conversation with my friend reminded me just how different this was from my original expectation.


What if the U.S. had backed Mao during World War II? It almost happened – SupChina

Shortly before noon on July 22, 1944, the top Chinese Communist leaders — Zhōu Ēnlái 周恩来, Zhū Dé 朱德, and Máo Zédōng 毛泽东 among them — made their way to a seldom-used runway near Yan’an, Shaanxi province.

Yan’an had been the Communists’ base since the Long March of 1934-35, and an essential part of its success was its remote location: at the edge of the Gobi Desert nearly a thousand miles from the closest coastal city. A plane arriving there was rare enough, but what made the occasion truly exceptional were the passengers on board the American DC-3: nine members of the United States Army Observation Group, including diplomats, spies, and soldiers, who had come to Yan’an to figure out whether and how the United States might forge an alliance with Mao’s Communists. The American group took its name from a flawed analogy to the American Civil War: working behind rebel lines, it was codenamed the “Dixie Mission.”


This renovated railway station is currently China's social media hotspot – SupChina

“Train Station in the Forest” is the name of a recently completed architectural project to transform a transportation center in Zhejiang province into a multifunctional shared space that showcases the idea of living in harmony with nature.


Night bus – SupChina

Strangers on a bus. Each of them has a secret. Like the best Hitchcockian stories, they all have skeletons in their closets, and once a necklace is stolen in the dead of night, the chain of events that begins to unravel feels unstoppable, like falling dominoes. Viewers are taken on a ride directly into the dark abyss of human nature. This is Night Bus, a 20-minute horror short by Taiwanese director Joe Hsieh that made its way around film fest circuits in early 2022.


Panamá-China Relations (

The Republic of Panama officially recognized the People's Republic of China in 2017. Ever since then, there has been a constant parade of op-eds from think tanks about the potential risk of China's advance in Central America. We are joined by Sebastian Naranjo, a PhD candidate at Renmin University in Beijing and an Asia Desk Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Panamá, to seek some truth from facts on this issue.