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How to Talk about China? Government, People, and Cultural Understanding

On February 11, I read an interview by Financial Times' Europe-China correspondent Yuan Yang with Yale University Professor Jing Tsu on the role of cultural understanding in the midst of the power conflict between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC).  "I think it’s very important to understand China from the inside," professor Tsu said. Recalling her reporting from the Beijing winter Olympics in February 2022 as NBC's cultural commentator, she remarked:  "Everyone wants to see China as totalitarian. I saw Chinese people: girls in hazmat suits posing for selfies. They see the machine; I see the cogs in the machine." I find these comments quite interesting, because they highlight a fundamental issue: how to talk about present-day China? From what perspective can we study and understand it? ___ " Old vs new, Shanghai Pudong " by  Lawrence Wang 王治钧  is licensed under  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 . _____ First of all, let me point out th