Dragon Rising: An Inside Look at China Today

Dragon Rising: An Inside Look at China Today

Jasper Becker

Language: English

Pages: 264


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Jasper Becker's book, The Chinese, was hailed as the best single-volume introduction to this enormous, inscrutable society. The Washington Post said, "He has been everywhere and asked every question," describing his conclusions as "right in both details and analysis." Since then, China's role in world affairs has only grown greater.

No nation on Earth is as newsworthy as 21st-century China—and no book could be timelier than Dragon Rising, appearing just as world attention begins to focus on the 2008 Beijing Olympics and China's all-out effort to present itself as a modern world power. As interest grows, Becker is the ideal guide to the profound changes that are already reshaping economic, diplomatic, and military strategies all over the globe.

Intertwining in-depth analysis with revealing anecdotal evidence, Becker addresses every major question. What form will China's government take? How will communism's legacy affect modernization? Can Shanghai's success with urban capitalism be replicated elsewhere? Will wholesale cultural and economic change be resisted by the millions facing sudden transition from an authoritarian state to a market-driven society? How will the new China cope with pollution, unemployment, and voracious demand for energy? Each chapter examines a specific region and such key local issues as poverty, minority unrest, and official corruption, then places them in the broader context of Chinese society as a whole.

Vividly illustrated with photographs that capture the paradox of an ancient culture remaking itself into a dynamic consumer society, Dragon Rising is a wonderfully written, well-rounded, wide-ranging portrait of China's problems and prospects.

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ways of earning a livelihood through trade. Much the same goes for the Fujianese and the Cantonese, who emigrated in large numbers to Southeast Asia from the 18th century on. There are now an estimated 40 million overseas Chinese, and they form the wealthiest business group in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and several other nations. Wenzhou’s geographical isolation and narrow valleys created an inbred clannish spirit. People from one valley found the language spoken by those

Yongkang County use punch-presses to produce various metal parts, like the bicycle pump parts being made here. When state companies began to list on exchanges at home and abroad, the princelings found fresh opportunities for enrichment, selling off state assets that were supposed to be in public ownership. Mostly big enterprises were listed; smaller and medium-size enterprises were disposed of in a less public manner. Local officials or their relatives engaged in asset stripping: The profitable

schools to prisons, from armies to banks to the economy. The May Fourth Movement, which intellectuals led after 1919, called on the Chinese to embrace “Mr. Democracy and Mr. Science.” The Chinese found themselves wrestling with a series of questions that have still not been resolved today: What was the goal of the modernization and what form should it take? How could one forge a modern Western state out of an archaic empire? China was clearly not going to be a constitutional monarchy like

silence activists who wanted to raise the alarm. Many of the victims were so poor that, even at the best of times, they earned little more than $150 a year. Since a year’s supply of the cocktail of drugs needed to control the disease costs about 10,000 dollars, no peasant could afford treatment, and no government authority wanted to accept the responsibility to pay for such costs. The central government began to react to the rural SARS health crisis only after 2003, when the virus caused alarm

Colonization Communes see People’s communes Communications Communist Party see Chinese Communist Party Confucian exams Confucianism Constitution Construction of coal stations of dams future of power plants railway Corruption Crime executions for Cultural Revolution Culture/arts D Dabei Labor Camp Dams Mao’s building of peasants impacted by planned Daqing oil fields Death coal mining infant penalty rural causes of suicidal toll Debt

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