Bonust post: I just sent the following e-mail to a few friends, and then decided it might be of interest to a few of the readers of my blog as well.
The following is a list of the English-language China-related links that have slowly become my daily reading. Not in any order. Enjoy.
1. http://www.chinasmack.com/. ChinaSMACK: a fast must-read. Chinese internet phenomena, usually translated from the most popular forum posts, with selected netizen comments (original and in translation)
2. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/. A China beat reporter’s blog. I’ve actually been considering eliminating Evan, but he doesn’t post every day and when he does it’s sometimes quite good, so I keep him on the list.
3. http://www.chinatalkingpoints.com/. China Talking Points: more in-depth looks at issues, updated a few to a handful of times per month. Good multimedia!
4. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?author=13. Victor Mair at The Language Log, which incidentally is all-around awesome for anyone interested in linguistics. Mair is an accomplished translator and linguist, and it’s interesting to see what he chooses to pick apart, although I tend to skim over the gory details.
5. http://topics.scmp.com/news/china-news-watch/. China News Watch: hard news on China, with such a bent for negative stories (scandals, corruption, etc) that I’m not sure how it hasn’t been blocked yet.
6. http://www.thechinabeat.org/. The China Beat: more long-form, very thoughtful, and an excellent source for ‘further reading’ suggestions if you have the time for that nonsense.
(-----this is the break between the sites accessible in China [above] and the sites blocked in China [below]-----)
7. http://chinadigitaltimes.net/. China Digital Times (CDT): an awesome aggregator for ‘hard news’ about China, with some grab-bag blog entries, scholarly articles, and opinion pieces mixed in.
8. http://www.danwei.org/. DanWei: A daily selection of a few big stories in Chinese news, including daily translation of the headlines of a given Chinese newspaper. DanWei isn’t as comprehensive as CDT, but its stories tend to be more in-depth and thoughtful, and it has more culture pieces.
9. http://mpettis.com/. China Financial Markets: economic analysis of current trends and predictions for the future. Seems brilliant, but then again Micro and Macro were my two worst classes at Yale and I don’t understand everything he’s saying. Not sure why it’s blocked in China... unless Hu Jintao did poorly in college Economics too?
--. Last but not least: to make sure you're still reading quality reporting and not just blogs/aggregators, add a “China” section with your favorite news sources (BBC, NYT, etc) in your Google News feed and you’re all set!
Sites that others tend to recommend (EastSouthWestNorth, Peking Duck, ChinaGeeks, etc) are not without value, but in my opinion they’re not high-quality or unique enough to make the list.
I’ve also just started reading a few older articles by this guy when I have the chance – http://www.weeklystandard.com/author/ethan-gutmann – after stumbling upon and being incredibly impressed by his 2002 article about Chinese restrictions on the internet (http://mydigest.espacioblog.com/post/2006/07/24/ethan-gutmann-who-lost-china-s-internet-).