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Writing Tiananmen

By Tom Chatfield  

I’ve visited China six times in the last six years, and every time I’ve gone I feel like I’ve visited a different place. The pace of change is simply incredible, as is the scale of variations between its mountains, plains, towns, cities and regions. China is a crowded, dazzling nation, and one that has begun to enthrall the world. Yet, for those of us on the outside, understanding what it means to be Chinese today, and what it might mean to be Chinese in the future, can seem unassailably alien questions.

The barriers to understanding are at once linguistic, cultural…

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