The Daolingjian Imperial Tile kilns outside of Beijing once produced the green and yellow tiles that adorn the rooftops of the Forbidden City, the Ming Tombs and other ancient sites. Demand remains strong, especially when imperial-era temples are renovated. But due to anti-pollution restrictions, the wood-burning kilns are silent; today production takes place in far-off Inner Mongolia. The stresses, strains, and commercial opportunities of the modern world have changed the face of this village—and all of rural China. Join us as foreign correspondent Melinda Liu, a 30-year Beijing resident, shares stories of the kilns and the village where she spends many weekends.
Award-winning foreign correspondent Melinda Liu is Beijing Bureau Chief for Newsweek Magazine, and has reported on China for much of her career. She’s lived and worked in Beijing since November 1998, returning to a city in which she had resided from 1980 to 1982 as Newsweek’s first Beijing Bureau Chief.
One of Newsweek’s most experienced foreign correspondents, Liu covered China’s post-Mao modernization; the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the fall of the Taliban; the 1991 liberation of Kuwait; and U.S. military interventions in Somalia and Haiti. In 2003, she was one of very few American journalists in Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel as a firsthand witness to the U.S. “shock and awe” bombing of the Iraqi capital and the fall of Saddam Hussein. Liu won the 2006 Shorenstein Journalism Award in recognition of her reporting on Asia. She directed a short documentary film “The Doolittle Raiders: A China Story” which was shown at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to mark the 75 anniversary of the WWII Doolittle Raid.