He QingLian is a Chinese journalist, famous in her own country for fearless criticisms of Chinese government policy. Her book, The Pitfalls of Modernization, is currently being translated by Lawrence Sullivan of Adelphi University. She has been visiting the U.S. to meet with other journalists and China scholars and recently had lunch with me in... Read More
And we could help.
Macao, Portugal's 400-year-old colony across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Hong, returned to Chinese sovereignty at midnight on December 19th-20th last. Considering that the place is tiny — eight miles from end to end, pop. 450,000 — and has no discernible economy — gambling and prostitution are the staples — and that the Portuguese... Read More
Who the hell are the Roma?
The indispensable Michael Kelly, writing in the New York Post (12/8/99, p.41), deplores the silence of the U.S. government in the face of a massive ethnic cleansing currently under way in Kosovo, this time "conducted by the Albanians against their ethnic Serb, Croatian, Roma and Muslim Slavic neighbors." I certainly share Mr Kelly's indignation; but... Read More
China's colonial problem in Eastern Turkestan.
Western reporting on China's problems with her minorities tends to concentrate on Tibet. The spectacle of a picturesque and eccentric culture (the Younghusband expedition of 1904 found that the Tibetan official they were dealing with bore the title "Grand Metaphysician") being stomped into the dust by a brutish and amoral despotism naturally arouses our sympathy.... Read More
Republican leaders, worried about their party's lack of success among ethnic minorities, are reaching for just the wrong remedy. The GOP, they say, should stress symbolic ethnic outreach, while downplaying its principled opposition to affirmative action, bilingual education, and multiculturalism. As a result, "diversity" is now a watchword in GOP candidate selection, choice of convention... Read More
Purple America, by Rick Moody
Of the British poet Philip Larkin, one obituarist observed that while Larkin's verse could not be faulted on technical grounds, he still could never be admitted to the front rank of poets because his work did not affirm anything. The novelist Rick Moody inspires some similar reflection. Though very accomplished, in what I think we... Read More
Hungry Ghosts, by Jasper Becker
The greatest human calamity of our century — greater than the Holocaust, greater than World War Two itself — was the famine that swept China in the "three bad years" 1959-61. At least thirty million died. For a long time the Chinese authorities and their shills in the West denied that there had been a... Read More