Author(s): Xu Zhiyuan
In PAPER TIGER the Chinese journalist and intellectual Xu Zhiyuan paints a portrait of the world's second-largest economy via a thoughtful and wide-ranging series of mini essays on contemporary Chinese society. Xu Zhiyuan describes the many stages upon which China's great transformation is taking place, from Beijing's Silicon district to a cruise down the Three Gorges; he profiles China's dissidents, including Liu Xiaobo, Ai Weiwei and Chen Guangcheng; and explores lesser-known stories of scandals that rocked China but which most people outside that country did not hear about - and which shed troubling light on China's dark heart. Xu Zhiyuan understands his homeland in a way no foreign correspondent ever could. PAPER TIGER is a unique insider's view of China that is measured and brave, ambitious in scope and deeply personal.
'[Xu] does everyone interested in China a valuable service. Great political and moral questions loom, and it is not just "hostile foreign forces" asking them. As Xu notes: "History always exceeds our expectations." I suspect that in Paper Tiger he has published a more optimistic volume than he realizes' Financial Times. 'Compelling and important ... it is a powerful account' Sunday Telegraph. 'Identifies the consequences of an authoritarian state struggling to control a society developing at a breakneck speed ... Xu sounds a warning about the new leader who, he says, believes that "China will become a great power only once all of its citizens believe the same thing"' Daily Telegraph.
Xu was born in Beijing in l976. He was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University from 2009 to 2010. He is editor-in-chief of the Chinese edition of Business Weekly and writes columns for the FT.