Henry Luce, the venerable founder of Fortune magazine, once wrote that "Communism is the most monstrous cancer which ever attacked humanity." He was talking about the "loss" of China to Mao Zedong in 1949 and its failure to become a democratic state. It was the greatest disappointment of his life.
The boy from Manhattan sits under a picture of Chairman Mao. Sixteen-year-old Spencer Langerman has left his comfortable life in the Big Apple to live with a Beijing family and attend high school for one year.
"Why do you assume that we want Western democracy?" The question was put by an English-speaking Chinese woman, a graduate of an American university, over an elegant dinner served in a private dining room at an expensive restaurant in the most fashionable neighborhood of Beijing.
Getting into North Korea was one of the weirdest processes VBS has ever dealt with. After we went back and forth with their representatives for months, they finally said they were going to allow 16 journalists to come and cover the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang. Just before our departure, they suddenly said, "No, nobody can come." Then they said, "OK, OK, you can come. But only as tourists." But they already knew we were journalists, and over there if you get caught being a journalist when you're supposed to be a tourist you go to jail. We don't like jail. And we're willing to bet we'd hate jail in North Korea.
White House communications director Anita Dunn fired back at criticism from TV commentator Glenn Beck on Friday, saying that a Mao Tse-tung quote Beck took issue with was picked up from legendary GOP strategist Lee Atwater.
Soon after I first came to visit China in the autumn of 1971, I saw a contingent of militia soldiers doing marching drills in Tiananmen Square. I was told they were rehearsing for the annual National Day parade on October 1, which people eagerly awaited.
One of the most telling things about China's health care is a quote I once read from a construction worker who earns about $150 a month: "If you get cancer in China, don't bother going to the hospital. They might not cure you, but you will go broke."
An aggressive tabloid newspaper has had its Web site censored and could face further punishment by China's media authorities for running a photograph from the still-taboo 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement
I hope the great restaurants of Paris held a moment of silence early this week upon hearing of the death of the distinguished French philosopher and journalist, Jean-Francois Revel. They should have. He was certainly the greatest gastronome I have known. He was also that rare French intellectual who admires America, and something more: He did not flinch from the evidence in any intellectual debate, whether it be a debate over communism, terrorism or the tomato.
The CIA is offering a rare glimpse into its successes and failures at trying to understand China during its first communist decades in a huge cache of newly declassified documents released this week in Washington.