Is China going to take over the world? Will it ever really become a superpower? Will the Communist Party ever engage in political reform? What do Chinese think of us? What's hot in Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming? What are the Chinese reading? Is there hope for better relations between Beijing and Taipei? What's the best thing written this week about China?
This blog will attempt to provide the broadest take on things Chinese -- in politics, culture, art, society, foreign affairs, economics and business. And who I am to bloviate about these issues? As a young "foreign devil," to use the Chinese term for foreigner, I first went to the People's Republic in 1980 and lived in a 10x15 foot room with seven Chinese guys for a year, played hoops and traveled across the country in packed railroad cars and rickety buses.
After that it was 1988 and 1989 as a reporter for the AP, covering the student-led protests and the June 4 crackdown around Tiananmen Square. I returned in 1998 for another six years as the Post's bureau chief in Beijing. I bought a house in Beijing, wrote a book, "Chinese Lessons," and then decided to exile myself from my adopted "motherland" by moving back to Washington. My day-job? I edit the Washington Post’s Outlook section.
I’ve been asked to close by telling readers what I hope they’ll get from the blog. Actually, I’d like to spin that on its head because I very much want this to be a joint effort. I want reaction, fulmination, criticism and maybe an occasional pat on the head. This won’t be fun without you. China is an amazing place; there are many stories to tell. I hope we can tell them together.