Friday, November 7, 2008

China notes

  • James Fallows' article, "Their Own Worst Enemy," in the current Atlantic is interesting and also fairly short (which is always a plus). He argues that the Chinese government does a better job of responding to its people's needs than it has managed to convey to the rest of the world. The government has a penchant for PR missteps, unnecessarily shooting itself in the foot, as happened on a couple of occasions during the Olympics. Fallows suggests that the bureaucracy continues to value loyalty over other qualities but that local officials sometimes go their own way, frustrating directives from the top. Still, there are signs the government is learning from mistakes and beginning to present a more accurate, and therefore favorable, picture of itself to the world.

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