Writing About China Begins and Ends with the Chinese People

Shanghai residents cheer and pose for photos near midnight on the eve of the lifting of a COVID-19 lockdown, May 31, 2022 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).
Shanghai residents cheer and pose for photos near midnight on the eve of the lifting of a COVID-19 lockdown, May 31, 2022 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).
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China’s official name is the People’s Republic of China, but the degree to which that description fulfills its promise is a wildly varying, fluid story that remains open to debate. Chinese politics and culture, in all their ramifications, nonetheless begin with the Chinese people, who bear the full weight both of their government’s policies and the xenophobia of assumptions that because they are Chinese citizens, they are by default agents of the Chinese state. Chinese citizens are varied and complex, just like people in any country or corner of the globe. They can be prone to displays of nationalism, but […]

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