China Rules

Toasting the thaw: Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and Premier Zhou Enlai at a state banquet in Beijing. Associated Press

On a late August weekend in 2017, a week after he was forced out as President Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon made a trip to the Connecticut country house of Henry A. Kissinger to talk about China.

It was more of a pilgrimage, actually: the prophet of disruption seeking out the high priest of geopolitics to make the case that Mr. Kissinger’s view of America’s relationship with China was hopelessly out of date. The two men talked for hours in the sunroom, and while they enjoyed each other’s company, they did not, in the end, see eye to eye.

“He agreed 100 percent with my analysis,” Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

With a statue of Deng Xiaoping, who led the opening up of China in 1978, in the foreground, Shenzhen put on a light show last month to mark the 40th anniversary of those economic reforms.

Milton Friedman had a message for China: To get rich, it must be free.

It was 1988. The Soviet Union was tottering. Across Eastern Europe, the communist order was on the verge of collapsing. Trying to avoid its own demise, the Chinese Communist Party had taken small steps toward unshackling its economy from the state. But prices for food and other necessities were surging as a result, and the party’s reformers wanted advice.

They invited Mr. Friedman — the Nobel laureate and champion of economic freedom — to Zhongnanhai, the walled compound in Beijing where the country’s most senior leaders live and work.…  Seguir leyendo »

Liu Ping, center, president of China’s state-owned Bright Food Group, sampling local yogurt at a dairy farm near Momchilovtsi. A Bright Food yogurt brand is named for the village.

Under a merciless sun, a dozen Chinese construction workers survey an empty expanse of desert, preparing to transform it into the heart of a new Egyptian capital.

The workers are employed by China’s largest construction conglomerate through a $3 billion contract from an Egyptian company, with financing from Chinese banks. They are erecting a thicket of 21 skyscrapers, one as tall as the Empire State Building.

The presence of Chinese labor and largess on the sands of Egypt is a testament to China’s global aspirations. After centuries of weakness and isolation, China is reclaiming what its leaders regard as its natural destiny — supremacy in Asia, and respect around the planet.…  Seguir leyendo »

At Huining No. 1 High School, the pressure is on to excel on college entrance exams. Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times

In the dusty hillsides of one of China’s poorest regions, Gong Wanping rises each day at 5:10 a.m. to fetch well water and cook her son’s breakfast. She washes his feet while he keeps his nose in English and chemistry books. She hits him if he peeks at her cellphone.

To Ms. Gong, 51, who dropped out of school, the future of her son, Li Qiucai, 17, is paramount. If Qiucai does well on the college entrance exam, if he gets a spot at a top university, if he can achieve his dream of becoming a tech executive — then everything will change.…  Seguir leyendo »

The pull of the past: Aerospace workers wearing Long March-style uniforms.

In the uncertain years after Mao’s death, long before China became an industrial juggernaut, before the Communist Party went on a winning streak that would reshape the world, a group of economics students gathered at a mountain retreat outside Shanghai. There, in the bamboo forests of Moganshan, the young scholars grappled with a pressing question: How could China catch up with the West?

It was the autumn of 1984, and on the other side of the world, Ronald Reagan was promising “morning again in America.” China, meanwhile, was just recovering from decades of political and economic turmoil. There had been progress in the countryside, but more than three-quarters of the population still lived in extreme poverty.…  Seguir leyendo »