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For all of the attention paid to China’s impact on international politics, the global economy and the environment, few people in the west look closely at its ideas. Mark Leonard’s cover story seeks to put that right by considering not only China’s ideas but the people who produce them—China’s increasingly boisterous intellectual class. The country enjoys relatively open debate in leading newspapers and journals (although certain subjects, like Tibet, remain taboo). Indeed, intellectual debate and the factions it breeds have become a kind of surrogate for western-style party politics. But such similarities with the west—both in ideas (such as the…

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