New on the site, the final version of the essay I've been working on for much of the summer. For some reason, this text does not seem to have interested readers as much as other pieces by Qin. It should. His long, dispassionate comparison of China and South Africa, in which he argues that both of their "economic miracles" were the result of status discrimination (South Africa against blacks, China against peasants) leads to the inexorable conclusion that if we condemn one, we have to condemn the other--or should China get a pass because their wretched treatment of peasants is not "racist?"
And even if the piece is ten years old and couched in terms of comparative economic history, I think it is relevant today, even to the events in Hong Kong. One point Qin makes is: China's real problem is not only that it treats its peasants the way pre-democratic South Africa treated its blacks, but also that it treats its city dwellers far less well than South Africa treated even its poor whites. What, then, does greater integration into mainland society mean for super urban Hong Kong?
About this site
This web site is devoted to the subject of intellectual life in contemporary China, and more particularly to the writings of establishment intellectuals. What you will find here are essentially translations of Chinese texts that we consider important, together with discussions of related issues and a number of reference tools that can help those interested to navigate the project.
This materials on this website are open-access and are published under a Creative Commons 3.0 Unported licence. We encourage the widespread circulation of these materials. All content may be used and copied, provided that you credit the Reading and Writing the China Dream Project and provide a link to readingthechinadream.com.