When US President Donald Trump lost last year the presidential elections from his contestant Joe Biden, some people expected the trade war between China and the US would end. At the China Speakers Bureau, we had set up a category of expert speakers on the trade war. For a short moment, we contemplated retiring that section but decided to wait and see how Joe Biden would behave.
The new US president Biden is following closely his predecessor’s approach on China. Wrongly, says long-term China correspondent Ian Johnson in an opinion piece at the New York Times. “Washington’s plan appears to be to wait for the results of the comprehensive review of America’s national security policy toward China that Mr. Biden announced in February. This caution is a mistake,” says Johnson.
Not authoritarian rule but solid support from China’s citizens allowed its government to beat the Covid-19 and effectively deal with the coronavirus crisis, argues Singapore-based journalist Ian Johnson, in the New York Review of Books. He uses the Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang, to show the government did not silence critics but did win majority support by its people, helped by indeed heavily manipulated media in China.
This month the provisory agreement for cooperating on the nomination of bishops between the Vatican and the Chinese government is up for renewable. Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, explains why the deal was for the Roman-Catholic church an “understandable gamble,” according to the NCR.
Journalist and academic Ian Johnson reviews a documentary of artist Ai Weiwei with hidden footage of the coronavirus crisis in Wuhan for Plataformamedia. “The public needs to understand that this film is about China,” Weiwei said in a telephone interview with Ian Johnson. “Yes, it is about the coronavirus lockdown, but it is an effort to reflect what ordinary Chinese have experienced.”
A large number of foreign journalists, mostly Americans, got kicked out of China earlier this year, including long-term veteran Ian Johnson. In-depth journalism is now hurt, he tells the Deutsche Welle, as most media organizations have only one or two correspondents in China, who cannot do more than scratch the surface.
The coronavirus or Covid-19 has kept the world in its grip since the beginning of 2020, first as a China problem, but then fast expanding to the rest of the world.
At the China Speakers Bureau, we organize China experts for a global audience, and our speakers have started to speak out on the impacts of that crisis, countries dealt with the crisis, and how China will deal with the major economic fallout of this global disruption.
Are you interested in discussing more options of speakers to deal with the corona crisis? Do get in touch.
Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao interviews author and journalist Yuan Ling after he got into quarantine in his home province Shaanxi. “The virus has already had a deeper impact on the people than even the  Sichuan earthquake [that killed 69,000],” Yuan Ling tells Ian Johnson on the phone, for the New York Review of Books.
The national fight against the coronavirus has also triggered off help in temples, churches and mosques, writes author Ian Johnson of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao in the New York Times, but not all help has been appreciated. Religious groups have been donating large amounts of money, a feature hard to imagine even ten years ago, he writes.