MAGAZINE

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YearIssue
Issue 05, 2017

Contents:

This issue is proofread by Cheng Long and Terry Boyd-Zhang.
Introduction to Our Cover

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Reevaluating the Open-endedness of “Ecological Balance”

From the Editor

Reevaluating the Open-endedness of “Ecological Balance”

By Liu Jing, Editor in Chief
Photograph by Sun Jiaqi

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Colorful Autumn—Time of Harvest and Reunion

Idioms

Colorful Autumn—Time of Harvest and Reunion

By Cheng Long
Photograph by Kang Jian

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The Tiankeng Cluster of Hanzhong: The Latest Geological Discovery

Sepcial Report

The Tiankeng Cluster of Hanzhong: The Latest Geological Discovery

By Shui Xiaojie
Photographs by Sun Jiaqi, and as credited
Translation by Pavel Toropov

Now, in the 21st century even the most remote and unexplored corners of the world can be brought to our living rooms by Google Earth. Modern equipment allows amateur explorers to tame a wilderness where once only the bravest dared to venture. There are still, however, surprising discoveries to made, secrets that have evaded even the most prying of modern technologies—at the end of 2016 in HanzhongMore>>

Asian Openbill Storks: New Chinese Immigrants

Wildlife

Asian Openbill Storks: New Chinese Immigrants

By Han Lianxian, Hanben & Yang Yafei
Photographs by Han Lianxian
Translation by Trevor Padgett

In recent years, a large bird has gradually infiltrated the lakes, wetlands, and rice fields of Southwest China. It has come in great numbers, and flourished. These new additions to China’s avian fauna are Asian openbills (Anastomus oscitans), members of the stork family with an eye-catching beak that seems to never close. As unique as their beak may be, the more perplexing question is just how thMore>>

Zhao Fortress: The Last Refuge of The Song Dynasty

History

Zhao Fortress: The Last Refuge of The Song Dynasty

By Ye Zi
Photographs by Zhu Qingfu
Illustrations by Li Meizhi
Translation by Pavel Toropov

In the year 1127, the once flourishing Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127) was destroyed by the Jurchens, an ethnic group originating from today’s Northeast China, who then founded Jin Dynasty (1115–1234). Over a hundred years later, the Northern Song’s successor, the Southern Song (1127–1279), was brought to its end by a Mongolian onslaught. Nobody would have thought that the imperial family of the More>>

The Ningxia Grottoes

History

The Ningxia Grottoes

By Yang Xuanzhang
Photographs by Yuan Rongsun, and as credited
Translation by Nick Angiers

Like the Yungang and Dunhuang grottoes, the Ningxia Grottoes are also cultural relics of the Silk Road. In comparison to the more well-known ones, the Ningxia Grottoes have been greatly neglected by the general public, and even today receive only modest numbers of visitors each year. However, the artistic and historical values of the Ningxia Grottoes are by no means inferior to the others.More>>

A New History of Ancient Chinese Silk Unraveled in Xinjiang

Archaeology

A New History of Ancient Chinese Silk Unraveled in Xinjiang

By Wang Wen
Photographs by Liu Yusheng, and as credited
Translation by Nick Angiers

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, with its unique geographic, historical and climatic conditions, is much like a living museum, which has “collected” relics that have disappeared from all other locales. Today, archaeological discoveries and research continue to enlighten us on the area’s immense cultural value, and provide updates to our knowledge of the Silk Road’s history. More>>

Snuffboxes: Smoking with a Tiny Bottle

Collection

Snuffboxes: Smoking with a Tiny Bottle

By Dou Zi
Translation by Nick Angiers

Comparing wealth is a concept that has been around since ancient times, and one such item by which the royalty of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) did so was snuffboxes. These snuffboxes featured exquisite craftsmanship and unique designs, and thus were greatly valued by Qing people. But how did snuffboxes first arrive in China? And how did they create such a fad that lasted an entire era?More>>

Frog Pattern

Chinese Patterns

Frog Pattern

By Wang Ju
Photographs by Fei Lin
Translation by Nick Angiers

Frogs, while viewed from a modern perspective as being relatively unspectacular animals, were once a popular subject of pottery decoration in prehistoric China. These simplistic yet vivid frog patterns reflected the “water village” lifestyle of the era and region, as well as the inventive thoughts of early Chinese ancestors.More>>