I’m probably the poorest person among all the delegates.
The Guangzhou-based daily is known in China as a rare muckraking newspaper, famous for its fearless investigative journalism. Its stories have led to the sacking of corrupt officials, but have also landed its Editors in frequent trouble with the authorities. By appearing to endorse the newspaper in public, Mr. Wang — a member of the party’s 24-member Politburo — looked to be reminding the Chinese media of his liberal persuasions.
At that time, even he did not have corn to eat here, and survived eating the skin of wheat!
At the heart of China’s aging challenge is what social scientists have neatly summed up as the ‘421 problem.’ A legacy of family planning rules put in place in the 1970s, the number refers to the burdens faced by the current generation of one-child Chinese families, where one grandchild is tasked with the welfare of two parents and four grandparents.
‘The question is, why do we expect writers, particularly Chinese writers, to be the political conscience of the nation to get [a] Nobel [prize]?,’ asked Charles Laughlin, professor of modern Chinese literature in the University of Virginia, on Twitter. ‘I think most people don’t realise how epoch-making this is, as this is the first non-dissident in a Socialist country to win.’
At The Bookworm bookstore: Though China is currently in the global spotlight, few outside its borders have a feel for the tremendous diversity of the lives being led inside the country. Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land is a collection of compelling stories challenges oversimplified views of China by shifting the focus away from the question of China’s place in the global order and zeroing in on what is happening on the ground. The collection includes profiles of people who defy stereotype - an artist who copies classical paintings for export to tourist markets, Xi’an migrant workers who make a living recycling trash in the city dumps, a Taoist mystic, an entrepreneur hoping to strike it rich in the rental car business, an old woman about to lose her home in Beijing, and a crusading legal scholar – written by some of the most talented and respected journalists and scholars writing about China today. Join us to celebrate the publication of this new collection and hear from contributors Ian Johnson (Wild Grass), Christina Larson (Foreign Policy), Evan Osnos (The New Yorker) and Ananth Krishnan (The Hindu) on the profiles they contributed.
Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road,
Chaoyang District, Beijing
100027, P.R China
The Asia Literary Review shares a chapter of Chinese Characters, written by Ananth Krishnan. Here’s how it starts:
WHEN ALIM first attended a lecture by economist Ilham Tohti, he was stunned. Alim had spent most of his academic life cloistered in sterile classrooms where the lessons were, without exception, stale, uninteresting and infused with the unappealing rhetoric of Communist Party propaganda. The twenty-six-year-old student never took his lessons seriously; he gave them just enough attention to ensure he could pass.