China Beat Archive



Alec Ash

Date of this Version


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May 5, 2009 in The China Beat


Copyright May 5, 2009 Alec Ash. Used by permission.


In our ongoing effort to draw attention from time to time to blogs about China we come across and like (as we did in this recent post), we want to let our readers know about an intriguing one we’ve just started following. Six, maintained by Alec Ash, was recently singled out by CNReviews (another new addition to our RSS feed list, which we’ll doubtless start linking to regularly now that we’ve discovered it) as one of the “ten eclectic China blogs” worth following.

Rather than explain Six’s features to you, we asked Ash to let us repost a piece from it. Writing from Beida at the time of the May 4th commemorations, he provided us with the comments you’ll find below. (And, incidentally, if after reading what follows, you are still in a May 4th mood, check out Ash’s post about how that date was marked this year at Beida and also his interview with Rana Mitter, who provided China Beat with a Top 5 list of readings on China’s 1919.)

It was the young students at Peking University ninety years ago on May 4, 1919, who changed China’s future. Just like it was those twenty years ago who were out on Tiananmen Square. Now there is a new generation at Beida (the shorthand Chinese name for the university), and one way or another they too will be shaping China’s future.

As a foreign student at Beida, I started the blog (called “6”) to follow the stories of six Chinese acquaintances my age. My idea is to trace what young Chinese – at Beida and also elsewhere in Beijing – are thinking, reading, talking about and spending their time on. So there’s Marie, the sexy-jazz dancing student of A.I.; William, the college drop-out environmental activist; Ben, the smalltime graduate entrepreneur; even a Beida student who calls himself “Leonidas.” Follow the blog for more…

In the spirit of May 4th, below the China Beat is kindly republishing one of my posts: comments from a friend at Beida who was secretary-general of this year’s model UN, the Chinese version of which is hosted at the university.