China News Roundup
First, a brief update from New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Much of the flooding, infrastructure damage, and electrical blackouts avoided my part of uptown Manhattan, and as a result we’ve emerged relatively unscathed. Thank you to friends and family who wrote expressing their concern- I appreciate it!
Here’s a roundup of some of the more interesting China stories of the past week or two:
- Evan Osnos of The New Yorker on what the likely fallout of the Wen Jiabao story will be. Evan’s takeaway? The fact that the story isn’t surprising doesn’t mean it isn’t newsworthy.
- On the subject of Wen, the Useless Tree writes that the Chinese Prime Minister has failed the Confucius test.
- NPR’s Louisa Lim profiles ex-government official Bao Tong, a former secretary to Zhao Zhiyang and a leading critic of the Communist Party’s grip on power. Bao says that “there’s no ideology, there’s no socialism, there’s no communism. All that’s left is power.” Sounds about right to me. In June, Ian Johnson wrote a similar profile of Bao in the New York Review of Books. Both are worth reading in full.
- John Garnaut compiles the A to Z of Chinese politics for the Sydney Morning Herald. This is an excellent, succinct primer of what the key issues are in advance of the 18th Party Congress.
- A Chinese student at Hampshire College writes about how living in the United States has turned him into a Chinese nationalist. This goes both ways, for sure- I remember angrily defending American politics- even George W. Bush!- to critical Chinese friends in the aftermath of the 2004 election. It’s remarkable how living abroad can intensify feelings of national identity, even though most people travel to, at least ostensibly, gain a different perspective.