It’s Time to Talk About ‘Evening Talks at Yanshan’

  On the evening of 17 July 2018, China’s party-state media reported on a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in Beijing. Chaired by Li Zhanshu 栗戰書, a member of the ruling Politburo and formal head of the National People’s Congress, the meeting hailed Xi Jinping’s statement that ‘Every era has a narrative arc; people of every generation have a mission’ 一個時代有一個時代的主題,一代人有一代人的使命.… Read

Deathwatch for a Chairman

Watching China Watching (XXXI)   … the only thing that gave us security on earth was the certainty that he was there, invulnerable to plague and hurricane … invulnerable to time, dedicated to the messianic happiness of thinking for us, knowing that we knew that he would not take any decision for us that did not have our measure, for he had not survived everything because of his inconceivable courage or his infinite prudence but because he was the only one among us who knew the real size of our destiny.… Read

Silent China & Its Enemies

Watching China Watching (XXX)   This essay originally appeared as The True Story of Lu Xun in The New York Review of Books on 23 November 2017 (vol.64 no.18). It is reproduced here under its original title — ‘Silent China & Its Enemies’ — to commemorate Liu Xiaobo, who passed away on this day a year ago.… Read