China’s economic renaissance and renewed cultural confidence have not yet been matched by a creative re-awakening. So argues this review essay, which considers the comparative globalisation of ‘Eng Lit,’ departing from an unpretentious detective story set in Shanghai.
This April 2008 e-interview with the US-based Grantmakers without Borders provided an opportunity to offer detailed answers to very frequently asked questions: what is the nature of civil society in China, the growth trajectory and challenges facing NGOs, the influence of foreign organisations—and what part in this was China Development Brief trying to play?
Reflexive sinophobia may be self-fulfilling for it risks strengthening the forces within China that are opposed to political reform. So argues the essay that follows, which was written in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics and published, with the title ‘Altered Images’ in Index on Censorship (Volume 37 No. 2, 2008).
The government of China has long taken the view that its own development must be sui generis, resisting ‘foreign models’ or at least adapting and investing them with ‘Chinese characteristics.’ International development agencies and some developing countries are now asking what lessons they can draw from China’s own fast-forward growth. This essay, which was presented as a discussion paper to a Wilton Park conference in November 2007, questions whether the diverse forces that have propelled China forward can be emulated. A shorter version entitled ‘Saving Globalisation’ appeared in the Winter 2007 (No. 41) issue of China Review.