China's Crisis, China's Hope

Overview


The principal force in awakening the people and setting them on the road to struggle, Liu Binyan argues, has been the repeated mistakes of the Chinese Communist Party and the outrageous bureaucratic corruption it has allowed to flourish. Even as he describes the runaway inflation that inflicts unfathomable hardship on all but the elite party officials, the increasing isolation and hypocrisy of the Communist leadership, or the political persecution of intellectuals and the press, Liu?s message is one of hope. ...
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Overview


The principal force in awakening the people and setting them on the road to struggle, Liu Binyan argues, has been the repeated mistakes of the Chinese Communist Party and the outrageous bureaucratic corruption it has allowed to flourish. Even as he describes the runaway inflation that inflicts unfathomable hardship on all but the elite party officials, the increasing isolation and hypocrisy of the Communist leadership, or the political persecution of intellectuals and the press, Liu’s message is one of hope. This book—written in one man’s eloquent voice—is testimony to his belief that the need for democratic reform has taken root among the Chinese people and that they will ultimately take steps to transform their nation.

Regarded as China's preeminent intellectual, Liu Binyan provides a compelling portrait of his native country, in an eloquent testimony to his belief that the need for democratic reform has taken root among the Chinese people and that they will ultimately transform themselves and their nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Perry Link (Princeton University)
Liu Binyan offers a special perspective on contemporary China. He has been a prominent player in that country's tumultuous political–social–literary history ever since the mid–1950s. His long experience as an investigative reporter for China Youth
News and People’s Daily has afforded him a grasp of the details of Chinese social history that few can approach.
Library Journal
Collected in this volume are trenchant and hard-hitting essays on Chinese politics by Liu, a leading intellectual critic of the Chinese Communist regime now in exile in America and author of the recent autobiography A Higher Kind of Loyalty ( LJ 6/1/90). The first five essays, originally delivered as lectures at Harvard in 1988-89, provide fascinating evidence of the crisis of public confidence in the regime that preceded the democracy movement in the spring of 1989. Liu indicts the Communist Party (which expelled him in 1987) for having long since degenerated into a bloated and self-serving bureaucracy which has twisted the reforms of the post-Mao era to benefit itself and whose members' priveleged existence drains the nation's wealth. The last two essays, written after the June 4 massacre, take hope from the emergence in China of an active citizenry, no longer willing to accept its fate passively or to believe in the lies of its leaders. The goverment won only a Pyrrhic victory over its enemies, who are certain to rebound.-- Steve I. Levine, Duke Univ., Durham, N.C.
Booknews
Subtitled, A documentary study of Party control of leadership selection, 1979-1984. Compares the Nomenklatura system in China with its counterpart in the Soviet Union. The Nomenklatura are the people who truly control and have power. Considering the current turmoil in China, this book is either timely, or history. The introduction is an expanded version of an article from Problems of Communism, v.36, no.5. Translations of many of the chapters were originally published in Chinese law and government, v.20, no.4. Based on a series of lectures at Harvard in 1988-89, this book details the conflict between the changing Chinese people and their resistant government. Binyan presents a view of modern China from a Chinese perspective, commenting on such problems as inflation, the government's handling of the press, and the Tiananmen Square uprising. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674118829
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1990
  • Series: Interpretations of Asia Series, #1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Liu Binyan, born in Changchun, Manchuria, on January 15, 1925, exemplifies in his words and actions the tradition of the courageous literati of independent conscience. A party member since the beginning of China’s 1949 revolution and a firm believer in Marxism, Liu has pointed out how the Chinese Communist Party has come to abuse its power and does not respond to the demands of ordinary people. In 1957 he was expelled from the party and sent down to the countryside to do hard physical labor. Forbidden from publishing, he was barely able to support his family. With the establishment of the Deng Xiaoping regime in late 1978 and the rehabilitation of political prisoners by Deng’s protégé, Hu Yaobang, Liu was made “special correspondent” for the party’s official newspaper People’s Daily. By 1979, he had begun to publish a series of investigative essays that exposed the party’s corrupt practices and suppression of the people’s rights. His exposés electrified the nation, and in 1987 Liu was purged from the party once again, along with his political ally Hu Yaobang. It was Hu’s death that precipitated the massive pro–democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. As a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1988–89, Liu was able to predict in his lectures, only a month prior to the Beijing uprising in the spring of 1989, the impending turmoil. He cannot be compared with any writer in western countries; his position in China resembles that of the dissident East European intellectuals. Currently Liu is Writer in Residence at Trinity College, Hartford. Excoriated by China’s present leaders, he is unable to return to his homeland.
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Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Merle Goldman
  • Preface

  • China’s Crisis, China’s Hope
  • The Fate of Intellectuals
  • The Bureaucratic Paradise
  • Freedom of the Press
  • Why There Is Hope for China
  • Deng’s Pyrrhic Victory
  • Afterword: The Romanian Example

  • Index

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