– Life & society

A knock on the door

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. July, 2019 There are no secrets in China. Shortly before I flew there to reunite with my wife in our new apartment, I received a call from an old Western friend in Chongqing. He wanted to tell me that he had recently been invited to ‘have a cup of […]

Five chickens in Chengdu

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. June, 2019 It was a long drive down from Litang on the Tibetan Plateau to Chengdu in the Sichuan basin. A nine-hour journey on a difficult road. Travelling with three Tibetan friends: Medok (the driver), Yinbo, and Qumei. Plus five live chickens in a bag.   Five chickens in […]

Vale Chinese patriots

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. February 16, 2019 There are communists, and there are communists.     Vale Li Rui 李锐; April 13, 1917 – February 16, 2019 Li Rui (李锐), who died today at age 101, was a typical, sincere Chinese communist in his early years. Later he became Chairman Mao’s personal secretary […]

Generation gap

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. June, 2018 There’s an old factory in Chengdu which has been converted into a museum and arts centre. From the outside it looks like a tired remnant of the Cultural Revolution days with its dull concrete walls, old machinery, and black and white weathered murals exhorting workers to: Continue the […]

Slow train to Chongqing

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. April 2015 In China, it always pays to book transport the day before. That’s how I missed out on a comfortable two-hour fast rail journey from Chengdu to Chongqing (350kms), and was forced to wait four hours for a slow train which would take another four and a half […]

Demolishing history

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. August, 2016. Modern Chongqing is a booming metropolis containing 6.5 million residents (within a municipality of 30 million people). It straddles the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers upstream from the Three Gorges Dam, is 1600 kilometres west of Shanghai, and is the Beijing government’s hub for growth in the hinterland […]

2003: welcome to China

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. 2003 I was feeling apprehensive despite the excitement. China seemed so far away from Australia and my familiar Western culture. The China I had heard about was an out-of-date model shaped by the experiences of an older generation. Emotive words like, Communism, Red China, and the Cultural Revolution kept […]

China from the inside out

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. February, 2012 I hesitate to write about my observations of life in China. The boundary between my Western culture and Chinese culture has blurred. For example: when I arrived in 2003 everything was new and exciting and it was easy to spot the differences. Nowadays they are not so obvious. Nevertheless, […]

On understanding the local environment

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. October, 2010 China is an ancient, complex, and culturally strong society with its own ways of doing things. Ways which are sometimes difficult for a foreigner to understand. A lot of unnecessary frustration can be avoided if things are put in their historical and cultural context.    On understanding the local […]

Yangtze River in flood

Brian Hennessy. China Australia Consult. July, 2010 The mighty Yangtze River is in flood. The worst rains in over 10 years have sent torrents of water rushing down a 6300 kilometre journey from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to Shanghai on the coast. Throughout history, these seasonal floods have been something to fear in the Yangtze River […]


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