By A. Doak Barnett
This engrossing and evocative account of the profound adjustments overtaking China explores the foremost dilemmas it confronts on the flip of the millennium. Shanghai-born and Western-educated, Cheng Li presents the original twin standpoint of a neighborhood resident and a political scientist who back to his place of birth to watch from the grassroots China's extraordinary social adjustments. in the course of his travels, Li interviewed humans from all walks of existence, together with neighborhood officers, technocrats, marketers, intellectuals, and migrant employees. His first-hand account exhibits how large adjustments in rural industrialization, city privatization, and inner migration have deeply prompted people's lives and methods of considering. The value of those variations is unheard of in chinese language background. His account brings a feeling of immediacy to the an important concerns that experience bedeviled the rustic: professional corruption, turning out to be disparities among wealthy and negative, the halting reform of state-owned firms, transportation and infrastructure bottlenecks, and environmental degradation. In rediscovering his local state, filled with strength, irony, paradox, and contradiction, Li demanding situations a few mainstream perceptions of China and offers a clean standpoint on U.S.-Sino kinfolk in this interval of uncertainty. His clear-eyed and fascinating account presents the reader with the sounds and scents, tastes and textures of this speedily altering state.
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Extra info for Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform
Our media (and some members of the academic community as well) have often sought to exaggerate one fact or the other or to replace facts with a surfeit of oversimplified approaches to events in China. Only a few years ago, the Western media, especially on television, reported virtually nothing but the ''Tiananmen incident'' when they covered China. A great number of books on the Tiananmen crisis also left the reader with the impression that China was an intractably Communist regime that had hardly changed during the reform era and would probably remain the same in the foreseeable future.
I remember that an American friend told me about his experience as a consul in a city of East Asia. "Many tourists apply for visas to the United States from East Asia every year," said my friend. O. Cognac, his view of the city must be wonderful. In the fall of 1993 Morgan Stanley hosted a tour of China for leading American and European fund management groups, representing combined funds valued at about $400 billion· The tour participants visited four major Chinese cities and met top Chinese government and financial officials as well as Chinese entrepreneurs· The key conclusion of the tour was that investing in China's future would be the world's most profitable opportunity for the next ten years.
He argues that, even though coastal China has already become an economic powerhouse, much of the country will remain relatively poor for decades. He disagrees with those who predict a coming culture-based clash of civilizations in which Western values will confront East Asian Confucian values. This view, he argues, fails to take account of the fact that, while there are important differences between Chinese and Western values, those that will shape China are not monolithic; they are being strongly influenced by Western values, and China, like many other countries, is finding it increasingly necessary to respond to and adapt to international trends and shared global problems.
Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform by A. Doak Barnett