WHAT SOME CHINESE IN CHINA ARE SAYING ABOUT This Is China…by Stephen Ling (should be available at Amazon after May, 2018)
Steve has lived and taught in China for seven years now. His observations of and insight into the country of his grandparents carry a mixture of innocence and deja vu, that special feeling of being both an insider and an outsider. Ultimately, what truly moves me is his humor and his compassion, which infuse the way he writes and the way he leads his life in China.
Raymond Zhou, Bilingual writer and China Daily columnist
As a college professor, Steve brought his enthusiasm and passion to the classrooms. In and out of the classrooms, he spent enormous efforts in aiding students to fulfill their academic dreams. As in his second book Crazy Americans based on his first hand experiences of the Real America, he is doing the same in This Is China, in which Steve shares his observations of China, from the remote rural villages to the heart of the urban cities, from grass root folks to the social elites. A good observer requires insightful eyes, a good writer requires a scrupulous mind, you see Steve has both as you travel from A to Z in this book.
Zhang Qicai, Graduate & Entrepreneur, Xiamen University TKK College
As a Chinese, I can’t help bursting out laughing again and again reading This Is China! My only response is “Yes, this is true! Yes, this is China!” Being a Chinese American, the author observes China from a very unique perspective because he is standing in the juncture between two cultures. He has acquired more knowledge about China than many Chinese people do. Read this book if you want to know an authentic China!
Lan Si, Graduate Student, Boston University
Steve’s book This Is China describes his personal experiences as a Chinese and American in China, opening a window through which readers can see the liveliest,
freshest and most stimulating China in her reforming years.
Zhang Yinglin, Professor, Xiamen University TKK College
Professor Stephen Ling’s exotic clothing attracted me to him in Xiamen University campus when I was a postgraduate student in biology, and soon I was reading Growing Up Chinese, about his poverty-stricken days growing up in Malaya and how he struggled for a better life beyond the poor farming village. He encouraged and inspired me because we shared almost a similar background as adopted children. His stories encourage me never to give up and that my experiences are not the worst. His optimistic attitude teaches me how to face and cope with life’s predicaments. And this optimism about life, hope and future now permeates This Is China, a book that deals courageously with the current issues with Chinese characteristics ranging from economic to social problems facing China today.
Zhou Xanfeng, Research Scientist, Nanchang Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jiangxi Province, Phd Student
As an Chinese American living and working in China, Steve has the rare opportunity to witness firsthand the socio-economic transformation in modern China. Now he wants to share this experience with those eager to know more about the miracle that has turned China into a mega economic dragon in the world. This Is China attempts to capture the changes from his perspectives. The book is frank, rich and informative.
Sun Min, Lecturer, Shinyway Education School, Xiamen
This Is China is an enjoyable, lively and colorful read. The author has lived and taught in China for several years, enough that he should be a‘Honorary Ambassador’ to the country. In an elegant, concise and smart way, the author takes a sharp look at the fundamental reasons why China is becoming rich, powerful and secretive. The book is a must read for anyone interested in doing ‘business’ with China, and that is just about everyone.
Chen Lishuai, Economics Graduate, University of Bath, United Kingdom
I took Steve’s class one semester because, as a software engineering major, I want to learn more about ways to improve my written and spoken English. I was lucky! Steve wants to help me improve my chances of getting a good job one day. He is passionate about all aspects of learning and so he wrote This Is China “To educate many of my American friends who are ignorant about why China is about to take over the world.” He is passionate about China, the land of his ancestors, and always said: “Once all roads led to Rome, now it is to China, a new land of milk and honey, a new land full of contrasts and challenges.” With each page and chapter, you are on the way to knowing more about Modern China.
Chen Junjie, Postgraduate student, Minnan Normal University
Back in Xiamen University, Steve was the first English teacher that I spent a whole year with and bonded. Steve was ready for any student in need; he would spend extra time after class for any of us to talk with him in the school’s cafeteria. Of course I took that opportunity and ‘bothered’ him more than once. At first I thought Steve came from a middle class at least because he is always passionate, optimistic, confident and considerate. That was until I read his GROWING UP CHINESE. I learned Steve went through and rose above many adversities, a quality I admire in him. Steve’s new book THIS IS CHINA is about his experiences in China。It is surprising that I would still bond with him after I had graduated。He is still the passionate and considerate Steve. You would get that if you read his book carefully.
Ni Wei, TV reporter, Beijing
With years of experiences teaching and living in China, Steve offers firsthand and insightful perspectives on the current Chinese society. Whether you would agree or disagree on the points or interpretations or perceptions in the book, they will motivate you to further probe into China and the Chinese people. This Is China allows you to see the broad socio-economic landscape of a modern China. Happy reading!
Chen Pushan, PhD Student, Xiamen University
I have always been amazed by Steve’s thorough comprehension of Chinese philosophy and culture. I understand my own Chinese culture and contemporary China better through our conversations. His new book This is China aptly illustrates his capability to tell interesting stories covering the socio-economic and political landscapes of China from an unique perspective with Western and Eastern wisdom.
Chen Chao, PhD Student, Brown University, USA
Different countries have different cultures and politics; America is considered democratic while China is communistic. Unfortunately years of estrangement led to misconceptions and misunderstandings about each other. I hope Steve’s book will bridge this gap and introduce China to the world. China now is going through many dramatic changes, like introduction of Chinese Dream, anti-corruption drive against top government officials and leaders, new normal in economy, streamline administration, or why less students are interested to work for the government. These and other developments have aroused the world’s curiosity about China. This Is China provides a window to see modern China.
Li Yongming, Research Reporter, Jinan Times, Shandong Province
As an overseas Chinese whose grandparents and parents came from China and who was born and grew up in Malaysia before immigrating to the US, Steve has a much deeper understanding of the Chinese traditions and current social changes and of the differences between Chinese and American cultures, having lived and worked in China for 7 years. His observations of his mother country are mostly objective, detailed, informative, thought-provoking as well as funny, if not comprehensive. As a Chinese myself, I can understand other cultures as well as my country better by reading some of the comparisons he makes between Mainland China, Taiwan, US, Great Britain and other countries he has visited. To those who want to know China and the cultures of Southeast Asian countries better, I recommend this book, which is written in a candid and humorous vein, reflecting the author’s vibrant personality.
He Weiyin, Professor, Beijing Foreign Studies University
In his first year as a visiting professor from America at Xiamen University, students were surprised that Steve helped a disabled student to have a new prosthetic leg so he could stand up and walk like a normal person and gave him confidence in a new life. When students had problems, they knew Steve was the man to talk to. And now Steve continues to share his life and thinking in This Is China. You may read something interesting or something uncomfortable but it is happening in China. By reading it, I hope more Chinese and American students will find interest in the real China, not some fragments from the mass media.
Li Dajun, PhD Student, Peking University
I see vividly revealed images of life of modern China in the pages of This Is China. I see Steve, with warmth and luster in his eyes, using his brush and palette to put on a huge canvas his keen observations of special moments and happenings that brighten and color the lives of many ordinary people. He explores China’s traditions and reality with his footsteps and records China’s corners and changes with his heart. Though we have never met, communicating with Steve always makes me feel like talking to sunshine.
Sun Zhen, Graduate, Jilin University
If you take time to read a few pages of This Is China, you will, like me, stop wondering what Steve has been doing the past 7 years in China. He has been busy taking different photographs of China so he can share them with friends and strangers who want to know more about China but were afraid to ask. Or too busy to learn. His words are as clear as the photographs you took of China.
Cai Zhengyu, Graduate, Xiamen University TKK College
As an engineer involved in China’s aerospace project, I strongly recommend this book to those who want to know the real China and know it deeply. Being a visiting professor at a top university has given the author opportunities to learn from different Chinese people ranging from the vendors to wealthy businessmen, illiterates to well-educated elite, younger generation to elder generation which make the author’s description of China objective and credible. Every word of this book is injected with author’s enthusiasm and humor. I have redefined China after reading the book and it provides me a window to know the cultural differences between western countries and China.
Xiang Wei, Engineer, Beijing
Steve is a true master of his words. He had spent his early years around south Asia, allowing him to know almost all the cultures in pacific Asia. This Is China presents a valid view of modern China through Steve’s own eyes. As a Chinese myself, I nodded several times while reading it. I would talk to myself, hey, this is China indeed! Obviously I admire Steve’s integrity as a serious writer, always telling the truth with a sincere objective attitude. He always presents the truth, not intended to amuse anyone.
Ji Jiabao, Researcher, China Innocence Project, Beijing
I was born and I’ve lived in China for over 20 years and did a postgraduate research project about the state transformation of China when I was in Leeds, England. Steve and I are friends ever since my first class taken in XMU. When I read what Steve writes about China in This Is China I realize how impeccable his understanding of my country is. I don’t and never will expect the author, a Chinese with an American mind, will ever feel the same way about living in China as I do. That is why this book is simply amazing, about the China that I have taken for granted, with its struggles and successes as ambitious people and a mighty nation.
Zhao Guanghao, Postgraduate, University of Leeds, UK
As a Chinese American, the author’s bi-cultural background enabled him to describe the societal climate and landscape of China from a specific perspective. That’s why I enjoy reading this book, which is quite thought-provoking. While I was reading the book, I constantly got “aha moments”, yes, this is China! leading me to reflect deeply on the strengths and drawbacks of China. As an emerging giant, where will China go in the next decades?
During his seven years in China, the author’s identity is much more than an English teacher or visiting professor, he actually plays multiple roles: friend, counselor, social science researcher, essay editor, Talk Show host and speaker. It is fair to say that Steve Ling has made some remarkable contributions to the academic community. His book, This Is China, can be deemed a refined conclusion of his extended teaching and living experiences in China. I strongly recommend this book to those who want to get a better and accurate understanding of China.
Zhao Guochao, International Coordinator, Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University
Whenever I am feeling blue, I prefer to talk to Steve because he always motivates me and leads me to the bright side. When I feel puzzled about my future, he is there to guide me in the right way. He is never sick or tired of working with students. No doubt he gets along very well with different students because Steve knows China very well. This Is China is about Steve’s China, the China he has come to know, love and admire and trust, like a good friend.
Han Qilong, Sophomore, Xiamen University TKK College
Reading This Is China is like taking a leisure and a fact-finding trip to some places in China most of us are taking for granted because we are Chinese. Here Steve shares his personal experiences in life from Malaysia (where he was born) to America (where he now lives) to China (where he has the opportunity to live and work the last 7 years), and he is excited to share what he has experienced in these countries. Read the book yourself and find out what he thinks of China, the country of his ancestors.
You Li, Postdoctoral Fellow, Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand
Steve has a great sense of humor. He has lived in China for almost 7 years. In his class, he not only teaches students English but also teaches them how to think. He often hangs out with students, one way, he believes, to learn first-hand about the diversity of experiences and lives in China. Steve likes to experience different cultures and customs. He has written a book about his life in China, This is China, in which he shares his own observations and perspectives of this country. He never stops learning because, in his words, “a teacher is like a beggar telling other beggars where to find the food.”
Ai Minwei, Lecturer, Nanfang College, Sun Yat-sen University, China