An introduction by Henry Milner
The Olympics brought a confident and dynamic China to the world stage – big time. Beijing was spruced up and paraded for many thousands of visitors and millions of viewers on TV and the Internet, who were left gaping at the astonishing modernity of the place. In his new book, Tom Friedman of the New York Times writes of China’s “Green GDPism,” via top-down directives to clean up factories and save energy.
While central authorities were able to clamp down on Beijing, it is clear that in this new China much is decided locally and provincially, and that these decisions both sustain and challenge the hegemony of the Communist Party. Some regions are developing rapidly, and in their own direction. One such region is Zhejiang, where three friends of Inroads spent some time this past summer. Here are their observations in words, and in Marcia Gottschall’s pictures. In a related article, Dominic Cardy examines China’s growing influence on its “near-abroad” of South and Southeast Asia.