When you’re a longtime expat, you get used to saying goodbye. I’ve had multiple rounds of friends come and go, some whom I miss very much and don’t blame for seeking greener pastures. (They’re all dead to me.) But the “why I’m leaving China” story is dumb, because it is inherently written from the perspective of an outsider: someone who not only wants to remove him or herself from this setting, but who can. Isn’t the better story about those who stay?
That’s the story we want to tell at Radii. We believe China is a dynamic, fascinating place, the sort that resists (and mocks) generalization at every turn, requiring observers to ask more questions than supply answers. As we say in our mission statement, we seek to ask, “What is China?” each and every day. How do people here live? What do they care about? How do they see their world, and the greater one at large? What exactly is new about “New China”? And in turn, we hope to bridge gaps of understanding between East and West.
A bit about me: I’m Beijing-born, Kansas-raised, back in Beijing since 2008. I’m well acquainted with China’s annoyances and discomforts. Subway passengers stream videos without headphones. Traffic and pollution are real. It’s difficult to get away from the crowd, wherever “get away” might be. TV shows are generally unwatchable. Don’t get me started on censorship, Internet and otherwise.
But I’m here in spite of these problems, as are lots of people. You should stick around too if you’re interested to know why. We’ll post stories every day, from quick-hitters in the Daily Drip category to longer pieces on different subjects in Culture. We’ll cover the Chinese tech scene and examples of creativity in Innovation, and write about health, well-being and traditional Chinese medicine in Life. We have a team of columnists lined up who’ll swing by every week or two to share their perspectives on everything from Xinjiang to live streaming. Next month we’re launching a podcast, so stay tuned for that.
We’re always on the lookout for contributors, those who desire to tell their stories about China to the world, so if you’d like to get involved in any way, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Since it’s the 21st century, we’re on Twitter and YouTube and Instagram. Follow us on WeChat by scanning below, if you count yourself as one of WeChat’s 938 million users. We’ll see you around.