This book so han any other I ve read on China best captures he country s current situation challenges and contradictions Osnos did a good job of weaving ogether he characters and hemes hat he explores built around he riad of fortune ruth and faith capturing he way hat prosperity and development co exist with political dissent and spiritual explorationI lived in China from 2007 o 2011 and like many aspiring Western half pats in China learned a great deal about my surrounds from reading he reportage and books of Evan Osnos Peter Hessler his predecessor as he New Yorker s Beijing correspondent and others Many of us were partly inspired o visit China because of Peter Hessler s River Town and a Hessler versus Osnos debate made for common conversation For hose fellow Hessler enthusiasts you ll find Osnos by comparison in book length o be similar o his longform journalism macro inclined focused on bigger issues and mover shaker ypes less personal and comical While I loved reading Hessler on China for all he adventure and insights into he working class he provides Osnos excels at analyzing he grand hemes and intellectual debates hat China observers engage in For hose who haven read Hessler and want a personal street level insight into contemporary China I suggest he entire rilogy preferably in chronological orderOsnos does an above average job of balancing between he biases of various sides he domestic and Western media Chinese liberals and conservatives etc While his own politics appear clear he comes across as a pragmatic liberal he presents competing beliefs at least beyond he official Party line in an insightful unobstructed manner I would love o hear what Chinese readers hink of he book I m sure hat ranslations arewill make heir way o he curious Disappointed Except he chapter of he writer s riding along with a group of Chinese for a guided our in Europe which is fresh and insightful he rest stories are either unoriginal or plainly wrong like he story about Han Han In comparison Peter Hessler s River Town and Oracle Bones are much fun o read and amazingly insightful about China and Chinese even for native Chinese like me Age of Ambition won he National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2014 and no wonder Nothing I ve read about he rise of China for many years has immersed me so deeply into he exture of life in hat country or memorably portrayed its yawning contradictionsTwenty years ago he extraordinary husband and wife reporting eam of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn published China Wakes The Struggle for he Soul of a Rising Power Based on five years of work in China hey won he Pulitzer for heir reporting on he Tiananmen Suare massacre China Wakes introduced American readers o he dynamism and he clashing contradictions unleashed a decade and a half earlier by he economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping Now wo decades further on Evan Osnos ably updates he story with Age of AmbitionOsnos brings o bear he insight hat comes only with extended experience and facility with he language in an alien culture he sort of understanding hat no reader can glean from he daily news no matter how deeply reported The Party had always prided itself on articulating he central melody of Chinese life Osnos writes in a perfect example of his insight but as he years passed he Party s rendition of hat melody seemed increasingly out of une with he cacophony and improvisation striking up all around it It was impossible o know what most Chinese believed because he state media and he political system were designed not o amplify public opinion but o impose a shape on it Nationalism like any other note in he melody might surge o he surface at one moment and fade into he background at another but was it he mainstream view The nationalists didn hink so Osnos focuses his penetrating repertorial eye on en or a dozen central figures whose stories resume from ime o ime hrough he pages of his brilliant survey of contemporary China A heroic young captain in he Taiwanese Army who defects o he Mainland and later much later becomes one of he country s most celebrated economists garnering he job of chief economist at he World Bank A self promoting English eacher who builds a nationwide adult education empire based on urging his students o shout English at he op of heir lungs A PhD candidate in philosophy at a leading university who spearheads an ultranationalist campaign online The sad story of he driven railroad man who rises o preside over one of he most corrupt ministries in a country of legendary corruption building China s network of high speed rains along he way and is nearly executed for his achievements These and so many other fascinating characters bring he reality of present day China o life in ways hat episodic journalistic reports so rarely can Evan Osnos knows his subjects and he follows hem for years Read Age of Ambition and you ll get o know hem ooStill shy of 40 Evan Osnos reported from China for The New Yorker from 2008 o 2013 Earlier as a correspondent for he Chicago Tribune he was part of a eam hat won he Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting Age of Ambition is his first book An interesting look at contemporary China by a journalist who has spent over a decade living here Documents he cultural changes of a country in great flux and ells he story of national changes hrough individual narratives I was especially aken with he stories of educated young Chinese nationalists reviving raditional Eastern hought and insisting on a uniue place for China in he world aloof from blind Westernization This was interesting in he suggestion hat Third Worldism is still an animating
force for many Chinese behind he market driven consumerism projected o he for many Chinese behind he market driven consumerism projected o he worldOne of my favourite subjects is he upheaval of China s Cultural Revolution during Mao s ime and while his is very much a book about he present moment hose events still reverberate Chinese history and culture was mostly wiped clean and people are only beginning o ry and rediscover it Moreover hey are being forced o develop a new morality o cope with heir present moment and o fill he spiritual void created by he national ideology of production and consumption mixed with obviously discredited paeans o socialismWell written even humorous at imes offers a good window into he hopes and aspirations of contemporary Chinese people especially young strivers who are wholly a product of his age This book was so well written and very #INTERESTING I DID NOT ALL THAT MUCH ABOUT MODERN # I did not all hat much about modern Osnos has a gift for exploring some of he ensions in he culture His access o some of he people he profiles is remarkable This is well worth he read Shenzhen landslide December 2015 Tianjin explosion August 2015 Oriental Star Cruise Ship Disaster June 2015There are a lot of China books out here As China is a constantly changing count I don hink anyone could argue hat Evan Osnos wasn ambitious in his his National Book Award winning compendium of current Chinese political culture Subtitled Chasing Fortune Truth and Faith in he New China his book extends and expands essays he d already published in The New Yorker magazine and gives outsiders a glimpse into he confusion and mad exciting reality hat is China odayOsnos covers a lot of ground and at he risk of appearing o be a ping pong ball in he hands of a giant he patiently and persistently over a period of years pursues big uestions about what China culture is and is becoming We can extrapolate from his work o consider what change in China means o us around he world I admit o exhaustion when contemplating China s development because of its overwhelmingly big populous and uncontrollable aspects But one hing is sure ordinary Chinese people have a kind of get ahead entrepreneurial mentality hat swamps he vitality of ordinary American life The distance from heir basic living starting point and ours is so great hat heir desperate energy is going o be he propulsion for societies around he globe We can keep pace but we can gain in heir slipstreamOsnos makes reporting in China look easy even when it clearly is not even now The state has loosened its grip a little but here is still he possibility of community or state backlash on individuals hat speak o him openly Those people are courageous souls Osnos managed o corral he size and scope of his story o a manageable level and yet was able o give us an idea of he great energy being unleashed among he populace and he Chinese government s pride and fear I am currently reading about he North Korean regime in Pyongyang A Kim Jong Il Production The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker His Star Actress and a Young Dictator s Rise o Power by Paul Fischer and so he Chinese government looks far less effective and controlling by comparison But he richness of Osnos s life in China comes hrough I especially liked he reportage in he Epilogue hat shows from several long erm studies over wo decades no evidence hat he Chinese people are on average any happier If anything hey are less satisfied han in 1990 and he burden of decreasing satisfaction has fallen hardest on he bottom hird of he population in wealth Satisfaction among Chinese in even he upper hird has risen only moderately Overall hey found economic growth is not enough job security and a social safety net are also crtitical o people s happiness Ah Well both Chinese and American officials could learn something from his This book won he 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction Without permanent echnology leadership he West will have o leave he op podiumPlease note hat I put he original German ext at he end of his review Just if you might be interestedAstonishing is he monopoly position of China in he discipline o kick back as a world power for a second ime on he international stage within millennials A hitherto uniue event in history from which he Chinese have learned Thus it is unlikely hat he entire container ship fleet will be sunk all boatbuilders killed and he building plans burned Because he wife of a high party official drowned Not once again Especially in cooperation with India it reveals a coverage of all activities related o both production and service Thanks o heir unbeatable prices hese cannot be provided by any other international union In addition o he Chinese workbench of he world on which increasingly entire industries are being piled up and he entire production process is going hrough a knowledge society of unimaginable proportions is growing in IndiaAlso genetic engineering cloning and embryonic stem cell research has no chains as in Europe and even fewer barriers han in America are allocated Thus he studies can be carried out in dimensions hat have no eual from he budget or he research resultsAsia will maintain and expand its supremacy in he artif. From abroad we often see China as a caricature a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined o rule he global economy or an addled Goliath riddled with corruption and on he edge of stagnation What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking heir lives as heir country dramatically changes As he Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker Evan Osnos was on he ground in China for years witness o profo. Icial modification development and optimization of animals plants and humans Whether here is still much uncontaminated life left between Monsanto in he west and Chinese genetic engineering companies in he east is uestionable Whether he selective breeding of humans and genetic manipulation outweigh he irreversible change in he entire biosphere is at he discretion and subjective perception of he individualIn keeping with he polite Asian mentality he Chinese not only conceal heir economic growth and exchange rates with subtle means But practice in a permanent appeasement policy which is o suggest a long lasting march o catch up with he WestNor do hey appear with American directness and handshake mentality but in he role of mediator and covenant smith in he Asian and Eurasian space The creation of neutral free rade alliances state communities and interest groups from willing vassal states aims for a slow but long erm shift in he balance of powerApparently states are easily won over by diplomacy and alliance politics han by military occupation and plundering From he point of view of he US wanting o repress China s influence especially in Central Asia and he Middle East he Afghanistan and Ira wars can be viewed in entirely new ways Less war on extremists han much a desperate attempt o assert itself in as many states as possible under an implausible pretext And o control hem o build a protective barrier Whereby it is not just about raw materials but also about he control of ransport routesAway from he military spectrum managers focused on short erm profit like o sign any clause hat concerns hem And if one agrees on echnology ransfers reveals rade secrets explains key echnologies down o he last detail and even brings ones own raining staff it does not bother anyone If hat s he price here s virtually no Western company hat does not agree o ake hat step And willingly gives he only competitive advantage o he at some point superior economic power The still existing but steadily dwindling echnological lead which will develop into a ie and ultimately he secondary rank of he WestAs if brain drain and he shift of science research and innovation centers o Asia are not already alarming enough for he West Besides he outrageous economic policy of he industrialized countries leads straight into a European and American de industrialization If he entire production process is outsourced he domestic economy and he welfare state are destroyed and only a pile of remaining bureaucrats and employees in he local corporate headuarters will be left a bitter awakening is likely o follow And he realization hat one has outsourced he entire echnology industry and economic performance Suitable for short erm profit but a miserable long erm perspective Unless unexpected disasters such as wars pandemics or extreme environmental events put a damper on or he West gains ground hrough revolutionary new echnologies and reforms he decline of he former US European hegemony empire is likely o be sealedIt is only o be hoped hat he US and he EU will not receive he same reatment from he new rulers hat hey gave o he rest of he world for centuries At hat ime when hey ruled unrestrictedly with colonialism slave rade and opium warsOhne die permanente Technologief hrerschaft wird der Westen das oberste Podest verlassen m ssenErstaunlich ist die Monopolstellung Chinas in der Disziplin als Weltmacht ein zweites Mal zur ck auf die internationale B hne zu reten Ein bisher einmaliges Ereignis in der Geschichte aus der die Chinesen gelernt haben Somit ist es unwahrscheinlich dass wieder die gesamte Containerschiffflotte versenkt alle Bootsbauer get et und die Baupl ne verbrannt werden Weil die Frau eines hohen Parteifunktion rs ertrunken ist Vor allem in Zusammenarbeit mit Indien offenbart sich eine Abdeckung s mtlicher sowohl produktions als auch dienstleistungsspezifischer Aktivit en Diese k nnen in dieser Masse und Wettbewerbsf higkeit dank unschlagbarer Preise von keinem anderen Staatenb ndnis erbracht werden Neben der chinesischen Werkbank der Welt auf der zusehends komplette Industrien aus dem Boden gestampft und der gesamte Produktionsprozess durchlaufen wird w chst in Indien eine Wissensgesellschaft ungeahnten Ausma es Auch werden Gentechnik Klonen und embryonaler Stammzellenforschung keine Ketten wie in Europa und noch weniger Hemmnisse als in Amerika umgelegt Somit kann in Dimensionen geforscht werden kann die weder vom Etat noch von den Forschungsergebnissen her ihresgleichen habenAsien wird die Vormachtstellung in der k nstlichen Modifikation Entwicklung und Optimierung von Tieren Pflanzen und auch Menschen halten und weiter ausbauen Ob zwischen Monsanto im Westen und den chinesischen Gentechnikkonzernen im Osten noch viel unkontaminiertes Leben wird brigbleiben k nnen ist fraglich Etwa angesichts der bisherigen Entwicklungen in den USA wie beim Genraps Ob die selektive Z chtung von Menschen und Manipulation am Erbgut schlimmer wiegt als die irreversible Ver nderung der gesamten Biosph re liegt im Ermessen und der subjektiven Wahrnehmung des EinzelnenGanz der h flichen asiatischen Mentalit entsprechend kaschieren die Chinesen nicht nur ihr Wirtschaftswachstum und W hrungskurse mit subtilen Mitteln Sondern ben sich in einer permanenten Beschwichtigungspolitik die einen noch lange andauernden Marsch bis zum Aufholen auf den Westen suggerieren soll Auch reten sie nicht mit amerikanischer Direktheit und Handschlagmentalit sondern in der Rolle des Mediators und B ndnisschmieds im asiatischen und eurasischen Raum auf Eine Schaffung von neutralen Freihandelsb ndnissen Staatsgemeinschaften und Interessensvertretungen aus williger Vasallenstaaten zielt auf eine langsame aber langfristige Verschiebung der Machtverh ltnisse hin Scheinbar lassen sich Staaten leichter durch Diplomatie und B
Ndnispolitik F R Sich f r sich als durch milit rische Okkupation und Auspl nderung Unter dem Gesichtspunkt dass die USA
Den Chinesischen Einfluss Speziell In Zentralasien Und chinesischen Einfluss speziell in Zentralasien und Nahen Osten zur ckdr ngen wollen lassen sich Afghanistan und Irakkrieg unter g nzlich neuen Aspekten betrachten Weniger Krieg gegen Extremisten als viel mehr ein verzweifelter Versuch sich unter einem unglaubw rdigen Vorwand in m glichst vielen Staaten festzusetzen Und sie zu kontrollieren um einen Schutzwall errichten zu k nnen Wobei es nicht nur um Rohstoffe sondern auch um die Kontrolle der Transportwege gehtAbseits des milit rischen Spektrums unterschreiben auf kurzfristigen Gewinn fokussierte Manager gern jede noch so bedenkliche Klausel Und wenn man auch Technologietransfers zustimmen Betriebsgeheimnisse preisgeben Schl sseltechnologien bis ins Detail erkl ren und zu allem auch noch eigenes Schulungspersonal stellen muss st rt es rotzdem nicht Wenn das der Preis ist gibt es uasi kein westliches Unternehmen das sich nicht zu diesem Schritt bereit erkl rt Und damit einer irgendwann berlegenen Wirtschaftsmacht den einzigen Wettbewerbsvorteil bereitwillig schenkt Den noch vorhandenen aber stetig schwindenden echnologischen Vorsprung der sich zu einem Gleichstand und schlie lich Zweitrangstellung des Westens entwickeln wirdAls ob Braindrain und die Verschiebung von Wissenschaft Forschung und Innovationszentren nach Asien nicht schon bedenklich genug f r den Westen w ren Zus zlich f hrt die haneb chene Wirtschaftspolitik der Industriestaaten geradewegs in eine europ ische und amerikanische Deindustrialisierung Wenn der gesamte Produktionsprozess ausgelagert die heimische Wirtschaft und der Sozialstaat zugrunde gerichtet und nur mehr ein H ufchen an verbliebenen B rokraten und Angestellten in den einheimischen Konzernzentralen brig sein werden d rfte ein bitteres Erwachen folgen Und die Erkenntnis dass man seine gesamte Technologie Industrie und Wirtschaftsleistung ausgelagert hat Gut f r kurzfristigen Gewinn aber mit einer miserablen Langzeitperspektive behaftetSofern nicht unerwartete Katastrophen wie Kriege Pandemien oder extreme Umweltereignisse einen D mpfer erteilen oder der Westen durch revolution re neue Technologien und Reformen mehr an Boden gewinnt d rfte der Niedergang des einstigen amerikanisch europ ischen Hegemonialreichs besiegelt sein Es steht nur zu hoffen dass die USA und die EU von den neuen Herrschern nicht dieselbe Behandlung erfahren die sie dem Rest der Welt Jahrhunderte lang angedeihen lie en Damals als sie uneingeschr nkt herrschten This is he best book I ve read so far on China It helps you understand he odd dichotomy of big government and free market capitalism hat exists here Something hat he vast majority of westerns including myself fail o really understand That is not a simple opic o summarize but he author presented it not as a rigid historical background but as a mix of stories biographies of real fascinating people in China Combining many of he articles he author has written for he New Yorker on ChinaIt explains not only how he government got o it s current state but also why it s not going away anytime soon The book demonstrated hat a surprising amount of people in China are still embracing it seeing it as necessary and helpful o heir advancement in he world And are critical and resistant o he flawed western democracies hey see on TVThe author expertly avoided bias from his presentation of he situation and I should note it is hardly a defense or criticism of he Party or its supportersOne unexpected result of reading his book was how it gave me a greater critical eye just not at China but of our western countries due o he outside perspective provided by he young and old Chinese people he interviewed Through he book you discover how common a perspective it is among he Chinese hat even hough Americans are highly critical of China s government anyone with a critical eye can see hat he American government is extremely similar o China s over bearing state in many ways One example is how he US gov ouches every market and industry not just at home but globally and loves over policing and militarization So ultimately you must credit China for having at least one hing going for it heir government is honest about heir oppression They just may not be as good at obscuring it as other countriesI can stop alking about his book among my friends Highly recommended I look at China s meteoric rise in he past four decades with
Contradictory Emotions I Admire The Way They emotions I admire he way hey massive infrastructural projects like highways bridges and high speed rail at a rapid pace I admire he way hey have risen o he No2 position in he world in just four decades I have always wondered how hey produce goods at such low prices hat even poorer Asian countries cannot compete with hem On he other hand I fear heir military build up and attempts o hegemonize in he Indo Pacific region I feel skepticism at heir GDP growth numbers and antagonism at he denial of democracy o heir citizens I am intrigued. Und political economic and cultural upheaval In Age of Ambition he describes he greatest collision aking place in hat country he clash between he rise of he individual and he Communist Party's struggle o retain control He asks probing uestions Why does a government with success lifting people from poverty han any civilization in history choose o put strict restraints on freedom of expression Why do millions of young Chinese professionals fluent.
Evan Osnos Æ 9 FREE READAnd skeptical about how advanced China is in he areas of Artificial Intelligence uantum Computing and self driving cars I am doubtful whether hey have overcome he pitfalls inherent in he long erm continuity of authoritarian regimesOver he years I have read several books by Western academics other China watchers and journalists o get a grasp of what he composite picture concerning China is I have had satisfying answers o uestions like he low price at which China manufactures goods This book by Evan Osnos is an essential contribution in advancing our knowledge of contemporary China Osnos lived for eight years between 2005 and 2013 in China as a journalist and China watcher He contributed many essays during hat ime o he New Yorker on China He speaks Mandarin and is a dispassionate observer of China being neither starry eyed about it nor a renchantly hostile critic I found some answers o many of my uestions in his bookWestern academics alk much about he wisdom of he Chinese leadership in history They point out how it has aken a long range view of various uestions regarding its security development and relationships with its neighborhood and he world The approach is said o be one of Confucian sagacity and working on a imeline hat is proportionate o China s long history In other words he Chinese are unhurried and always bide heir ime and strike when he ime is ripe Other writers project a picture of an integrated China where he Party and he people are moving ogether owards he country s vision of becoming he pre eminent power hat China once was in history The BRI Belt and Road initiative and he Maritime Silk Road are notable examples of his vision Unlike he USSR he Communist Party of China is believed o have successfully diluted he demand for freedom from its citizens and established otal control over hem hrough he fruits of material advancement Authors like Niall Ferguson and Kishore Mehbubani believe hat China is he future Osnos book stands in contrast o he views mentioned above He presents his analysis in hree sections itled Fortune Truth and Faith In Fortune we get o learn about he ambitions and anxieties hat drive he Chinese in he era of economic ransformation In Truth we learn in an Orwellian fashion how lies about he objective Chinese reality and constraints on freedom proliferate in every walk of life and how he Chinese navigate hem in he era of he internet Finally in Faith we learn about how he Chinese people are skeptical and dismissive of he Party s propaganda They are on a uest o believe in something other han what he Party dishes out o hem as reality The book explores all hese aspects hrough a collection of anecdotal accounts of various people whom Osnos meets and keeps in ouch over he eight years he lived in China We meet a broad cross section of people There is Lin YiFu who was a Taiwanese military officer in 1979 He chose o swim he Taiwan straits o defect o China because hat is where he saw he future o be He becomes he chief economist in he World Bank and remains a firm believer in he Chinese model of capitalism under he leadership of he Party Then we have he dissident artist Ai Weiwei he human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng and he Nobel Laureate dissident literary critic Liu Xiaobo The politically influential journalist cum publisher Hu Shuli and he blogger Han Han are others who make heir presence We meet Tang Jie a Chinese nationalist who argues hat he Chinese have a good life without freedom So why should hey fight he state for democracy and spoil itI wouldn go into he details of hese interactions and experiences Instead I would like o paraphrase he conclusions Osnos arrives at as a result of hese exchangesIn he section on Fortune Osnos says hat here is a desperate rush among he Chinese o get wealthy The average Chinese feel hat one has o elbow one s way on o everything otherwise one will miss out Since people do not have enough information on he strengths and weaknesses of he politics and he economy here is he anxiety o capitalize on he good imes before he bad imes make heir entry The author feels hat China oday is comparable o he US during he Gilded Age Just like it was in he US in he late 19th century corruption lack of he rule of law and weakness in he face of corporate monopolies are pervasive Strikes and Demonstrations raged across he US in he 1870s and 80s and he state met hem with force The same is rue in China oday concerning any form of protest However Osnos makes a ualification regarding corruption He says hat he corruption in China in his era is monumental According o him he high speed rail project was he single biggest financial scandal not just in China but in he whole world Between 1990 and 2011 eighteen housand corrupt officials have fled he country with at least 120 billion according o he Central bank of China Even he military is riddled with patronage Commanders receive strings of payments from a pyramid of loyal officers below hem The ex Prime Minister Wen Jiabao s family is said o have amassed assets worth 27 billion during he ime he was in office Public officials routinely ake bribes o dole out jobs hat hey controlThe section on Truth hrows much light on he Chinese view of he world outside and heir aspirations and he uest for freedom The Chinese attitude o he West is complicated There is a fierce curiosity about he world but it is empered by a defensive pride of heir place in it They look at he West with a mixture of pity envy victimhood and resentment Pity for he barbarians envy for heir strength and resentment and he sense
of victimhood for heir incursions into China They feel some sense of superiority due o he belief hat hey are lotvictimhood for heir incursions into China They feel some sense of superiority due o he belief hat hey are lot working and goal oriented han Westerners At he same ime hey are also filled with doubts and misgivings Just as American mothers wonder whether hey should be iger mothers and push heir children harder he Chinese are wondering if hey should learn about being creative in heir education system like he AmericansUnlike what is written in much of he Western media China has a creative class of artists bloggers journalists and students who resist he conformity hat is imposed on hem by he Party and he State The intersection of wealth and authoritarianism poses a problem for he new Chinese creative class The struggles and resistance of he artist Ai Wei Wei and he Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo are well known in he West They spoke in a vernacular hat mixed irony imagination and rage They ried o see how far an individual s power can sustain in China As we know he state came down firmly on hem and incarcerated hem They put Liu on rial where he aesthetically declared I hope I will be he last victim in China s long record of reating words as crimes In any case here is no doubt hat he internet has stirred a hunger for a new kind of critical voice a rebirth of irony a search for community and he courage o complain For example he computer science professor Fang Binxing is known as he architect of he Great Firewall which ramples he access of he Chinese people o he open internet When he lectured at Wuhan University in 2011 angry students hrew shoes at him in protest When he eachers ried o detain he shoe hrower fellow students defied hem and protected he shoe hrower The students argued hat here is no way for hem o debate Fang Binxing because of he mismatch in heir powers Hence hrowing shoes was he only
way out The author says hat divining how far an individual can go in Chineseout The author says hat divining how far an individual can go in Chinese life is akin o carving a line in he sand at low ide in he dark The political errain keeps shifting all he imeIn he section on Faith Osnos makes keen observations on how he Communist Party has learned o deal with control and manipulation in he internet era The Chinese leadership observed how he Arab Springs and he Soviet collapse originated and evolved They drew he lesson hat protests which go unchecked lead o open revolt The Politburo conseuently decided on he approach of Five No s no opposition parties no alternative principles no separation of powers no federal system and no full scale privatization Curiously hey also adopted an American model of doing propaganda Learning from Walter Lippmann hey magnify emotion while undermining critical hought The idea is hat good PR can create a group mind and manufacture consent for he ruling elite The father of American PR Harold Lasswell said in 1927 if he masses will be free of chains of iron hey must accept its chains of silver Unlike he USSR communist China s propaganda gospel follows such American innovationsOn he internet he Party controls online dissent and criticism by he use of what it calls ushers of public opinion The Party has many ushers of public opinion deployed on he net masuerading as ordinary users They do
Not Try To Extinguishtry o extinguish but endeavor o steer it away harmlessly Their ask is o influence public opinion and stabilize netizens emotions As an example if people criticize he Party on rising gas prices he ushers will lob a grenade of a post like if you are oo poor o drive hen it serves you right This makes he public urn he debate owards attacking he usher The opic gradually moves from gas prices o he usher s comments Netizens emotions are diverted and stabilized Mission accomplished This approach must ring a bell in most of us I have seen similar methods by he current right wing government in India as well One could see hat even he Trump campaign used such approaches in diverting attention away from Trump s refusal o release his ax returns However in spite of all hese seeming successes on establishing control over public opinion he Communist Party of China is nervous and unsure deep down For he first ime in history Osnos says China is spending on domestic security han on foreign defense They invest money on surveilling and policing its citizens han on external hreatsWhen I finished he book he impression I had was hat Communist China is on shaky legs at its core The Party elite is juggling many balls up in he air and one of hem is sure o drop eventually When hat happens he authoritarian state as no other plan but o put down he resulting protests violently Even in he unlikely event hat no ball drops ever improving living standards will demand freedom and individual expression This will challenge he Party o loosen its control In such an event as well he Party has no plan other han o put down he demands Many scholars have said his over he past couple of decades The Chinese nationalists have responded hat hese predictions have not come rue and hat China is going from strength o strength However I would read Evan Osnos book as saying hat it is an illusion and hat Communist China also will meet he same fate hat has befallen all authoritarian regimes in history. In English and devoted o Western pop culture consider hemselves angry youth dedicated o resisting he West's influence How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after wo decades of he relentless pursuit of wealth Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony Osnos follows he moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in he new China o be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism in which only one can preva.