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   Thor's China Links
All ideas expressed in Thor's China Diary and The Passionate Skeptic are entirely those of the author, who has no aim to influence, proselytize or persuade others to a point of view. He is pleased if his writing generates reflection in readers, either for or against the sentiment of the argument.


China Studies and Language

Media and Info'


Other Provinces

  • Guide to Xiamen and Fujian by Bill Brown -- survival and business info for the area, plus extracts from his books. Some useful historical material.



Embassies, Travel etc.


Finding Links

The following advice applies to finding information about almost anything on the net. There are literally tens of millions of internet sites out there, probably including tens of thousands about China. You know what happens when you use a search engine: several thousand links pop up, mostly irrelevant to your purpose. You waste days shovelling through this muck. Among the internet pages are also millions of personal homepages. Again, these are mostly tiny personal ego trips, decked out with some loud graphics. However some individuals do spend a lot of time and ingenuity collecting (or sometimes writing) truly useful information. The best of these will be more insightful than any corporate effort. How do you find them? Yes, it still takes a lot of shovelling... However, one of the most useful tools I have found for this purpose is called the webring. A webring is a collection of sites on a particular topic. Go to a big provider like Yahoo. Log into their webring section, and type in your topic of fascination ..... Somewhere amongst all the "Hello, admire me.." sites, you will find someone who has already spent half a lifetime collecting all the real links you need. Good luck!

Teaching Jobs in China

Note that many universities (but few high schools) have authority to employ foreigners directly. They prefer exchange agreements with foreign universities so that their own staff can get coveted overseas trips. The demand for foreign teachers is so great that this doesn't cover their needs though. Most institutions lack initiative, and pick from the pool offered by the Foreign Expert's Bureau in Beijing. It used to be possible to register with this bureau directly. More recently they appear to be using several American organizations (especially) as proxies (but now see China TEFL below). To be employed as a "foreign expert" as opposed to a foreign nobody, you generally need a Masters degree or better. This difference is reflected in your visa status, salary, living conditions etc. Increasing numbers of private schools are also authorized to employ foreigners, often at better salaries to the public institutions, but they actually want you to work for pretty long hours. They might or might not provide accommodation, and you take your chances with actually getting paid. The university jobs may have a few quaint perks, like three budgeted banquets, a birthday cake and one or more visits to regional tourist attractions. If your get a chance, eyeball the accommodation before accepting a job : there are significant variations in standards.

writing & photography on this site is
   copyrighted © Thorold (Thor) May 2005
   all rights reserved,

thormay AT  

The Passionate Skeptic 
[and what this website stands for ..]

Doubt well, do what you can, then let it be. Presidents, priests, wage slaves, hustlers, men and women, kids, we all live by the grace of those we love to despise...

Thor's China Diary (1998-2000)

Photos around China

Travel Notes (includes Chinese cities)

Rebecca's Place - where she teaches Thor about China

Living in Wuhan ... a guide for visitors and others  (rudimentary, unfinished project)

Qingdao beach, Shandong 1999

postgraduate students practice "English conversation" - packed in

old city gate, Dali Town, Yunnan 2000


breakfast steaming - east gate, Central China Normal University (CCNU), Wuhan


Note : This website may be blocked inside China, some or all of the time. That's kind of crazy, but China's 35 million bureaucrats (like bureaucrats everywhere) have an ancient history of obstructing useful ideas. This is in no sense an anti-China site. However, I am not shy about criticism where it seems deserved - and yes, I can often be wrong. Treat me with fair skepticism too. Anyway, if you are going to China and desperately want to keep reading , then you may need some rat cunning, like finding a proxy IP address to dogleg through to fool the censors. No, I don't keep a list of proxies (they are forever changing), but the folks at this place may be able to help:

Bumps on the SuperHighway

** note that a number of the sites listed here will require the use of a proxy address if accessed from within China. Various arms of the government of PR China block access from inside China to many sites outside of China. The process itself is rather crude, so that, for example, all of the several million Geocities sites are blocked (as of the year 2000), presumably because one of them offended some official sensibility. In general, anything with a political flavour about it, or social comment, may be blocked, but the criteria seem erratic and unpredictable. Blocking or not blocking is pretty accidental. Fairly outspoken sites may remain untouched for a long time, until some zealot makes a complaint. Then all hell breaks loose; (this seems to be true of life in general in the People's Republic). Indeed, seems to be blocked most of the time, though it is by no means anti-Chinese! The way around official blocks from inside China is to dogleg through a "proxy" address which acts as a blind for the final destination (your browser has a setup category for this). Asking half-known acquaintances in an embarrassed murmur for a working proxy is the closest most foreign residents (and knowledgable locals) come to being guilty of "unChinese activities". Of course, as soon as the proxy is discovered by the people's guardians, it too disappears .... [p.s. I do NOT know of any current proxy addresses]

** note2 : line speeds are often so slow inside of China (yes, *really* slow), that you may conclude that a site has been blocked, when a week later the thing suddenly works .....

** note3 : anyone setting up a site targeting a readership which is at least partly in China should check that sites sponsored by their Internet Provider are not blocked wholesale by the Chinese government already (e.g. Geocities is a no-no). If your own site is blocked at a later date, there is not much you can do, except set up a mirror site.



©2005 Thor May