Zhang Lijia

On Thursday 31 May the Beijing-based author Zhang Lijia will answer questions on political reform in China in an upcoming Hangout-on-air. Are we seeing merely window-dressing, or are there real options for change. Basis will be her opt-in in the New York Times, where she sounds rather pessimistic.

From the New York Times:

Implementing real reforms, not merely a tweak here and there, will demand courage. Will Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, the two men who will most likely take power in the autumn, be up to it?

I doubt it. They are selected to lead the nation because they’ve proven not only their ability to govern but also their loyalty to the regime. Like all top party leaders, they understand how to place the party’s honor before the country’s interest. This next generation of leaders is unlikely to rock the boat — and that’s unfortunate.

In the hangout, you will see the following elements:
1. A short introduction to Zhang Lijia from The Pulse at RTHK

2. A reaction of Zhang Lijia on the comments she got on her piece (you can contribute more here).

3. More discussion on political reform. Are the mere mentioning of the Cultural Revolution by Wen Jiabao, the article on the Great Famine. Is this window dressing, or signals for possible political reform?

4. We will shortly discuss Zhang Lijia’s upcoming projects, including a novel about prostitution in China

You will see the YouTube video during Thursday in this space. At this stage, you can only send in comments; for future interviews, we are likely to open up the hangout for a limited audience.

Zhang Lijia is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

The recording has been delayed for minor problems in the connection with Beijing. We expect to set up another attempt in the first week of June.

More on Zhang Lijia and China’s moral crisis, here at Storify.

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