john pomfret

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The Myth of China’s “Meritocracy”

From the time of Sun Yat-sen, through the turbulent Mao years and now into China's modern economic boom years, The Economist traces the thoughts of several "admirers" and challenges the meritocratic label that some have placed...

Chinese Media in the U.S.

CDT's Xiao Qiang was interviewed, together with the Washington Post's John Pomfret, on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show today about China's external propaganda efforts. Listen here: In the past two years, China's news agencies have...

Unwrapping the Enigmatic Chinese Riddle

John Pomfret writes about fellow China hand James Fallows' new book Postcards from Tomorrow Square in The Washington Post: People who write about China fall into two categories: the ones who like it simple -- China's going to...

China’s Far Too Rosy Self Image

John Pomfret writes on his blog about a recently released poll indicating that 92 percent of Chinese believe their country has a mostly positive influence on the world. From Pomfret's China: To me this poll illustrates one of...

A Long Wait at the Gate to Greatness

In the Washington Post, John Pomfret pokes a hole in the theory that China is on an inevitable rise to superpower status: Ever since I returned to the United States in 2004 from my last posting to China, as this newspaper's...

The Ugly Chinese

On his blog for the Washington Post, former Post Beijing Bureau Chief John Pomfret writes about the failures of China's "soft power" efforts as the government propaganda machine changes tack: For a few years there, the tone...

History Majors – Orville Schell

In the New York Times Book Review, Orville Schell reviews “Chinese Lessons” by John Pomfret: It is commonplace these days for visitors to be swept away by the breathtaking energy and dazzling high-rise vistas of Shanghai and Beijing. Even for Sinophiles like myself, who have been watching China for decades, the amazing development of this […]

Twisting Along China’s Sharp Curves – William Grimes

From the New York Times: When John Pomfret arrived in China in 1980, ready to begin language classes at the University of Nanjing, he looked out the train window at a timeless pastoral scene in the fields outside Shenzhen. “I saw men steering wooden plows pulled by water buffalo, women hunkered over knee-deep in rice […]

CDT Bookshelf: Interview with John Pomfret

In Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China, John Pomfret traces the lives of four of his classmates at Nanjing University, which he attended as a 20-year-old Stanford student in 1981. Given the rare opportunity to live in a Chinese dorm room with seven undergraduates, Pomfret gained an intimate knowledge of […]

The Life and Times of Book Idiot Zhou – John Pomfret

The following is adapted from John Pomfret’s book Chinese Lessons, which will be published next month. From the Washington Post: On a beastly summer day in 1966, in the country-side of northern Jiangsu province, 100 farmers lined up at the threshing ground of Production Team 7 in the Shen Kitchen Commune. The threshing ground doubled […]

CDT Bookshelf: John Pomfret recommends “Prisoner of Mao”

For the CDT Bookshelf, China Digital Times invites experts on China to recommend a book to CDT readers. This month, Washington Post correspondent John Pomfret recommends Prisoner of Mao, by Bao Ruo-wang (Jean Pasqualini), 326 pages, Penguin (out of print but easily available on any old books site on the Internet). Pomfret writes: “It is […]

Ryan Finstad: China’s Cultural Dynamism: Personal stories paint the big picture

From Asia Media: Faison and longtime Washington Post Beijing bureau chief John Pomfret, spoke on Thursday, May 12 at UCLA about their experiences as journalists in China in the nineties in a discussion called “Reporting China: Tales from the Dragon’s Mouth.” In their years abroad, they witnessed the advent of capitalism, power struggles at the […]

John Pomfret: China Rising

From The Washington Post, this article talked about two recent published China books, "China Inc." and "The Man Who Changed China": Writing about China is never easy. The country is so vast and full of contradictions that almost...

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