Author Zhang Lijia enthusiastically reviews on her weblog Eight Juxtapositions: China Through Imperfect Analogies: Penguin Specials by Jeff Wasserstrom. “In the final chapter entitled The People’s Pope and Big Daddy Xi, he compared the Chinese Communist Party with the Catholic Church and the president Xi with the Pope.”
China is unique, a fact that the authorities very much like to explore, for example, stressing that the country is so unique that the normal practice of human rights or democracy don’t apply to the Chinese reality.
It seems impossible to make comparisons with China because of this. Yet, Jeff Wasserstrom, Chancellor’s Professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, made some highly interesting comparisons in his book Eight Juxtapositions: China Through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo.
Imperfect may be, how nuanced and insightful they are. For example, in the final chapter entitled The People’s Pope and Big Daddy Xi, he compared the Chinese Communist Party with the Catholic Church and the president Xi with the Pope. You may smile when you read the headline. After your tour of the Vatican City, guided by the Wasserstrom, (with a stop-over in front of Raphael’s School of Athens), you’ll laugh, in agreement with him, slapping your leg: “Exactly!
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