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Annus Muris

Pre-empting the benevolence of the Year of the Rat with an oddly anti-Chinese (at least culinarily-speaking) act, Alan Yau flogged his two Michelin-starred restaurants, Hakkasan and Yauatcha, last month for a cool $60 million.

But with two inaugural branches of his Szechuan chain, Cha Cha Moon, just around the corner, it seems he's far from done with the motherland.

In fact, despite all the financial doom and gloom that's doing the rounds, the eponymous Rodent bodes pretty well for almost everything Chinese. Building up to the Olympic torch passing through in April, and ultimately the Beijing Olympics in August, the China in London programme includes the kaleidoscopic New Year celebrations on Feb 10th, the China Villagers documentaries at the Rich Mix and the Shen Yun troupe at the Royal Festival Hall.

But from dragon dances to Szechuan, if this tide of Sinophilia is entirely spawned by the impending Olympics, I can't help but wander what will happen in 2012 when it's our turn to play mother. Pop-up chippies in Beijing? Morris-dancing in Carnegie Hall? Ale-quaffing in the bars of Tokyo? Designer fry-up cafs on the beaches of Rio?

God bless the British. I really can't wait. Now where did I put that emigration form?

Visit China Now for details of all these events.

by AC
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