China’s recent history had a fair share of man-made disasters, including the Great Famine and the Cultural Revolution. The few years after the 1949 revolution have always been considered to be a golden period. Wrong, says Frank Dikotter in a recent book, The Tragedy of Liberation. Author Zhang Lijia disagrees with him at the BBC.
The years after 1949 were way better than before 1949, Zhang Lijia argues. Dikotter describes a Soviet style repression, based on new research in the archives. The idea of the golden years was only propaganda, he says. Zhang Lijia disagrees: “My grandmother, a prostitute, was saved by the revolution. The golden years after 1949 were not yet propaganda, but there was real social progress.”
Ambiguity is the word Beijing-based lawyer Gary Chodorow uses most when talking about the new visas in China, officially in place since September 1, during the China Weekly Hangout on September 12. What to do with spouses, interns, people with F-visas and other visitors who are not allowed to work. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.