Richard Bernstein was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and the Beijing Bureau Chief for Time. His latest book is China 1945: Mao’s Revolution and America’s Fateful Choice. (February 2019)
Thailand: Beautiful and Bitterly Divided
A fierce and intractable struggle for power
November 20, 2014 issue
The Insoluble Question
The Elimination: A Survivor of the Khmer Rouge Confronts His Past and the Commandant of the Killing Fields
by Rithy Panh with Christophe Bataille, translated from the French by John Cullen
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
a film by Rithy Panh
Duch: Master of the Forges of Hell
a film by Rithy Panh
April 3, 2014 issue
People's Republic of Rumor
The official Chinese media have reported that seventy-seven people died as a result of torrential rains last week, but the Chinese blogosphere tells a different story: of hundreds and possibly thousands of deaths, and widespread damage and chaos. Apart from describing the flood itself, these reports suggest that, once again, Chinese officials were striving to downplay the scope of a disaster to avoid public dissatisfaction. China is a country where there is no truth, though there is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence that if there is a truth on a subject deemed sensitive, whether about the feelings of Tibetans or the number of dead in a storm, it is to be found online, not in official accounts.
July 30, 2012
The Chinese Are Coming!
A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia
by Aaron L. Friedberg
February 23, 2012 issue
China's Tibetan Theme Park
In the international press, China’s tensions with Tibet are often traced to the Chinese invasion of 1950 and Tibet’s failed uprising of 1959. But for the Chinese themselves, the story goes back much further—at least to the reign of Kangxi, the Qing Dynasty emperor, who ruled for sixty-one years (1661-1722) and, in the official Chinese view, incorporated many lands, including Tibet, into a glorious Chinese empire. One of the most important symbols of those events, moreover, lies not in Tibet but thousands of miles east in the city of Chengde, near Beijing. There, Kangxi’s grandson, the emperor Qianlong, built one of the more astonishing architectural monuments in China: a Tibetan Buddhist temple housed in a scrupulously detailed scale model of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the seat of Tibetan cultural and spiritual power. This Little Potala, as it’s called, was intended as an architectural expression of the great unity of China under his rule. In recent years, the tourist authorities have used Chengde to create a sort of national monument to Kangxi, and, through him, to advance China’s contemporary position on Tibet.
September 12, 2011
A Very Superior ‘Chinaman’
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History
by Yunte Huang
October 28, 2010 issue
The Disturbing Case of Xue Feng
Quiet diplomacy, as it’s called, has served for years as the principle guiding US relations with China: the theory is that it is far better to engage the Chinese government quietly, behind the scenes, rather than through more robust public confrontation. But how effective is quiet diplomacy in practice? Two cases have made this question urgent.
October 6, 2010
The Empire of Sister Ping
The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream
by Patrick Radden Keefe
November 19, 2009 issue
At Last, Justice for Monsters
Closing Order Indicting Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch
by the Office of the Co-Investigating Judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
April 9, 2009 issue
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