The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression
Recorded on February 27, 2007
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
In The China Fantasy, former Los Angeles Times
Beijing Bureau Chief James Mann challenges the assumptions that
have guided American policy toward China for more than three
decades. Americans believe wrongly that with increasing prosperity
and with the arrival of McDonald's and Starbucks, China will move
inevitably toward political liberalization and democracy. U.S.
leaders suggest, with waning conviction, that trade and investment
will eventually bring an end to China's one-party system. But Mann
argues that this is merely a new version of the old fallacy that
the Chinese are becoming like us. In fact, Mann suggests, the newly
enriched elites in cities like Beijing and Shanghai could turn out
to be not the vanguard for democracy, but the driving force in
favor of perpetuating an authoritarian regime.
Other works by James Mann include: Rise of the Vulcans: The
History of Bush's War Cabinet, About Face: A History of
America's Curious Relationship with China from Nixon to
Clinton, and Beijing Jeep: The Short, Unhappy Romance of
American Business in China. Copies of his latest book, The
China Fantasy, will be available for purchase and to be signed
by the author.