Why does it seem to be so hard for the rest of the world to figure out this monolithic power-house that is China?
Authors Jianying Zha, Linda Jaivin and Paul French present an image of an evolving society that emerges from a defensive, stealthy, suffocating and almost blurry atmosphere to become a roaring consumer-driven semi-capitalist culture thanks in great part to “the blood and tears” of its working population.
The authors raise other pressing issues like the nearly unsustainable environmental degradation, the paranoia of a state that resorts to widespread censorship and the lack of trust among a wealth-hungry post-Tian’namen generation. And yet, they also paint a picture of a selfless China, dedicated to fight corruption and repression. A China where villagers invest great part of their time in developing effective and affordable methods of dispute resolution and improving education for their future generations. A China that sees journalists within the communist party itself trying to find creative ways to expose corruption and to report on the very valuable acts of many individuals working for a better China.
The next 30 years are crucial for China and, by default, the next 30 years are crucial for our planet. As Paul French very rightly says, the next 30 years will be about value, not about volume.
A very helpful presentation for those of us mystified by the magnitude and complexity of this giant.