Is China still a Confucian country?

29 min listen

For thousands of years, Confucianism has run through the fabric of Chinese society, politics and culture. Decades of Communism has taken its toll on China, so can it still be considered a Confucian country? Joining the episode is one of the world’s leading experts on the philosophy, Professor Daniel Bell. In 2017, he was appointed the dean of Shandong University, an unusual appointment for a foreigner in China but one based on his expertise in Confucianism, in the province of Confucius’s birth. His new book, The Dean of Shandong: Confessions of a Minor Bureaucrat at a Chinese university, details some of the ups and downs of his time in that

Spirit of place: Elsewhere, by Yan Ge, reviewed

This collection of stories is so assured, and delivered with such aplomb, that it’s hard to believe it’s a debut – and, as it turns out, that’s because it isn’t. Although Elsewhere is Yan Ge’s first book written in English, she is a seasoned novelist in China, where she has been publishing fiction for more than 20 years. For the past decade, Ge has lived in Britain and Ireland, and the collection captures the spirit of both her birthplace and her adopted homes in a variety of registers. The stories set here have a whiff of autofiction to them, but transcend their origins with style and wit. In ‘Shooting an