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By the Yellow River 黄河之滨


As the West takes issue with China, China has long taken issue with its own wild West: the land that begins with the Hexi Corridor through Gansu province and extends to the sparsely populated mountain areas in the south and the desert areas in the north. This region has provided China with a vast buffer zone for millennia while posing a persistent challenge for central rule to ensure its people understand and accept it as part of China. I have traveled through this land and observed these tensions as intrinsic to 2,000 years of history.



Throughout these years, tensions have been mitigated by spiritual life, trade, and governance, but most significantly by people’s thirst for peace and peaceful coexistence. The place I found most vibrant, embodying all this, is Lanzhou. The city condenses numerous drives, paradigms, tastes, beliefs, and more. Living in Lanzhou exposes one to a variety of languages, even more dialects, cuisines from near and far, customs, trades, imports, and more. When the urge arises to find meaning in all this, one may find a temple of choice around the corner, be it Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist, or Christian. In Lanzhou, I found that the Middle Kingdom has its own middle too—an embarrassment of riches.




Journey to be continued...

and to follow the Journey by






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