A rich harvest of texts today.
First, two essays on China and the impending “end of the pandemic.” Perusing my sources last week, I noticed that sociologist Sun Liping had posted two texts on his WeChat feed on this topic that were immediately taken down by authorities. I managed to find one of them elsewhere on the web, entitled “Let’s Think it Through: A Possible Picture of the Post-Pandemic Era and the Problems We May Face.” Sun’s text is exceptional only in that it notes that the pandemic may be coming to an end shortly in the rest of the world, and dares to ask if China might consider “living with the virus” after the Olympics are over. I also translated a piece that honestly describes the difficulties experienced by front-line health care workers instead of praising their heroism, another way of admitting that China, too, is tired of covid.
Sun Liping also posted an outline of a series small-group talks he is giving these days, an interesting window into how a Chinese liberal sees the world in 2022.
Hannah Wang translated an fascinating text on how teachers and parents reacted to last summer’s “double reduction” policy, which sought to lighten the burden on China’s students by reducing homework and after-school tutoring (largely by destroying the tutoring industry). See “88 Days after the End of After-School Classes, Helicopter Parents are still Anxious.”
And finally, Freya Ge translated an interview with Xu Jilin about his new book on Chinese traditional culture.
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