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Perry Link

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Homepage: http://www.chinafile.com/

The split between the two friends is a small example of a wider disagreement between “Trump boosters” and “Trump critics” in the Chinese dissident community. The rift is plainly visible both inside and outside China and is likely to persist in one form or another into the Biden years.

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In late February 1989, a month after becoming president, Bush visited Beijing and invited roughly 500 people to a “Texas barbecue” at a posh Beijing hotel. The invitees included Fang Lizhi, the famous astrophysicist and political dissident. The Chinese and U.S. governments both knew in advance about Fang’s invitation. There were tense consultations about it in both capitals. The Chinese side threatened that its leaders would not attend if...

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Authoritarians, in China and elsewhere, normally have preferred to dress their authoritarianism up in pretty clothes. Lenin called the version of dictatorship he invented in 1921 “democratic centralism,” but it became clear, especially after Stalin and Mao inherited the system, that centralism, not democracy, was the point. More recent examples of prettifying include “The Republic of Zimbabwe,” “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” and several others. What would...

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Some people, and I am one, feel that Tang (618–907 CE) poetry is the finest literary art they have ever read. But does one need to learn Chinese in order to have such a view, or can classical Chinese poetry be adequately translated?

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At the annual meeting of BookExpo America that was held in New York last May, to which most leading U.S. publishers sent representatives, state-sponsored Chinese publishers were named “guests of honor.” Commercially speaking, this made sense. China’s book industry, with sales now reported at $8 billion annually, is the second-largest in the world.1

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