I've read two edifying and revealing articles on China lately, and warmly recommend both.
The first, and more important one, is China's New Intelligentsia [Prospect Magazine] -- it had particularly high signal-to-noise ratio for me, as practically all the information in it was new to me, and quite interesting.
I think the Chinese experimentation with various forms of local and regional government, democratic or not, is quite valuable for political science in the west, struggling as it is with the discontents of liberal democracy as it is commonly implemented in the west. I'd watch those experiments with great interest, if I could spare the time.
The second, and more frivolous, is the New Yorker piece on Crazy English. It's more anecdotal and a little silly, but nevertheless gave me a very interesting angle on current Chinese attitudes.