Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos:
Beijing was a clanging, unglamorous place. One of the nicest buildings in town was the Jianguo Hotel, which the architect proudly described as a perfect replica of a Holiday Inn in Palo Alto, California. China’s national economy was smaller than that of Italy. The countryside felt near: most nights, I ate in a Muslim neighborhood known as Xinjiang Village, which belonged to the Uighurs, an ethnic group from far western China. Their tiny gray-brick restaurants had jittery sheep tied out front, and the animals vanished in the kitchens, one by one, at dinnertime. After the crowds thinned out each day, the waiters and cooks climbed on the tables and went to sleep.