While European construction projects are being postponed or curtailed, China’s development continues at a rapid pace. Following the opening of the world’s biggest building in Chengdu and the announcement that a ‘groundscraping’ five-star hotel is being built, downwards, into the sheer rock face of an abandoned quarry near Shanghai, the latest project to attract attention is the ‘horseshoe hotel’ opening fully in Huzhou in October.
For centuries, the relationship between China and India was the diplomatic Dog that Didn’t Bark. The two largest, most populous, most durable Asian countries, for most of their collective history, have lived alongside each other with an almost studied indifference to the military, economic and cultural activities of the other. This dynamic began to change in the postcolonial period, but slowly, unevenly and with as much backtracking as forward progress.
In 2005, Richard Chien opened a coffee shop in northeastern China, where an assembly line of novice baristas dished out 900 cups a day for 6 yuan – or less than a $1 – a pop. A decade later, he runs a classy coffee school in Beijing, where trainees spend hours contemplating bean aromas and tasting techniques for $6 brews.