Originally posted on Digital Cultures & Translation:

Why does it seem to be so hard for the rest of the world to figure out this monolithic power-house that is China?

Authors Jianying Zha, Linda Jaivin and Paul French present an image of an evolving society that emerges from a defensive, stealthy, suffocating and almost blurry atmosphere to become a roaring consumer-driven semi-capitalist culture thanks in great part to “the blood and tears” of its working population.

The authors raise other pressing issues like the nearly unsustainable environmental degradation, the paranoia of a state that resorts to widespread censorship and the lack of trust among a wealth-hungry post-Tian’namen generation. And yet, they also paint a picture of a selfless China, dedicated to fight corruption and repression. A China where villagers invest great part of their time in developing effective and affordable methods of dispute resolution and improving education for their future generations. A China that sees journalists within the communist…

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