Challenging China: Struggle and Hope in an Era of Change

Challenging China: Struggle and Hope in an Era of Change

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A fascinating and complex insiders' portrait of contemporary life inside the monolith, written by dissidents, activists, and journalists.

'"Kill 200,000 for 20 years of stability" is not going to be found in any official transcripts. The officially recorded equivalent, "Stability above all else," appears much more refined, with no taint of bloodshed, but there's not a single person in China who cannot understand its implication.' —from Challenging China

With the U.S./China trade deficit at record levels, interest in the contemporary Chinese experience is keen and growing. But as America contemplates China's growing economic dominance, attention is shifting away from its poor record on human rights and the living conditions of its population.

Challenging China gives us a rare and important portrait of contemporary life within China. Mixing personal stories with sober analysis, this revealing book embraces a broad range of social issues, from labor conditions and rural struggles to health and religion. Challenging China also offers rare glimpses of the country's social problems, from underage prostitution to the unlikely situation in which, as the authorities continue to arrest and imprison priests and evangelists involved in China's unsanctioned churches, academics have become the social spokesmen for a faith they do not personally profess. Finally, the book includes the first-ever first-hand accounts to come out of China from dissidents and their families—including accounts by the relatives of those imprisoned or executed and descriptions of life in exile. As companies from Microsoft to Wal-Mart open branches in China, Challenging China gives a revealing portrait of a country whose internal politics we can no longer afford to ignore.

Challenging China includes:
• The story of life beneath the overpass of Beijing's Second Loop where more than two hundred people have taken shelter, having come from all over China to seek justice through petitions to the central authorities
• The account of a dissident Internet essayist who, inspired by the memoir of an exiled Tiananmen veteran, reflects on the experience of exile within his own country
• A glimpse into the efforts and frustrations of a domestic NGO dedicated to addressing China's AIDS tragedy, and to keeping the outside world informed, by Ha Jin, director of the Beijing Aizhixing Institute