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The Dragon Stirs

China on the move

China recently unveiled this god of war statue symbolising its new direction. A Tumblr image.

Western interest in China began in the 1620s and this country that was content within it’s own borders and economy had no interest in the rest of the world. There were of course Chinese sailors who ventured far from home but these travels were very limited and the most significant Chinese-Western relations occurred as the British East India company imposed itself on China causing the opium Wars and a consequent subjugation of China which some say it has not been forgiven.

In recent times we have seen China emerge as a economic and military superpower able to take on Europe

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Durian

The king of fruit

Durian is banned from many shopping malls in Asia because it really does smell like shit yet it is a great delicacy all over Southeast Asia. The Durian is a large forest tree and the fruit which grow slightly larger than a football are very spiky on the outside.

While elephants eat the entire fruit including the outer shell, the real delicacy is the soft yellow fruit inside. Despite the repugnant smell, the inner fruit has an appearance and texture similar to egg custard and yet the flavour is delicate, sweet and like almond, a total contrast to its fragrance.

For Westerners visiting Southeast Asia, the smell is enough to make them leave the vicinity, but

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