About the Author

Antonio Graceffo

Antonio Graceffo, PhD, China-MBA is the author of seven books about China and Southeast Asia. He has worked as a lecturer and as a program director of business education and research for joint venture universities in China. Antonio holds a PhD from Shanghai University of Sport, where he wrote his dissertation, in Chinese. In addition, Antonio received his China-MBA, from Shanghai Jiaotong University, and is currently completing a second PhD at School of Economics Shanghai University, specializing in China –US Trade, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and Trump-China economics. His China economic reports are published at The Foreign Policy Journal and The Shanghai Institute of American Studies, a China government think tank.

A Cast of a Thousand Characters

Learning to read Chinese means memorizing one or more characters for every single piece of vocabulary in your head. The characters are based on over a hundred base characters. So, after a while, you can see a new character and guess that it has something to do with talking or driving or is esoterically related to the heart or an open door, but for the most part, it is pure memorization. The Chinese language is like an epic movie, starring a cast of thousands of characters.

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A Day in Loi Tailang

I pull out my camera, but the mothers quickly tell the children to hide their faces. Photographing people who are planning to live permanently at Loi Tailang is okay. But photographing civilians who plan to return to Burma is a no-no. If the photos get into the wrong hands, they, the SPDC, could find out that they have ties with the Shan State Army, and kill them.

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