Losing China Again
During 1993, visitors to China began to notice the widespread appearance of trinkets, souvenirs, and other memorabilia of this century’s most prominent Chinese leader, Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Though they were struck by something festive in the phenomenon, there was also speculation about darker implications. In particular, people remembered how portraits of Stalin began to pop up as the Soviet Union disintegrated, and how those were interpreted as nostalgic longing for iron-fisted good order, as an escape from freedom.
But China was not disintegrating; on the contrary, it was getting richer by the day. By some reckonings its open-market economy had become the third largest in the world, and businessmen everywhere were jostling to participate in its expansion. In 1993 alone, the Chinese government had approved almost 100,000 foreign-financed projects, representing commitments of some $110 billion in toto. The United States and China by themselves did about $30 billion in trade—$10 billion more than the preceding year. And there were other tabulations to show that, throughout the world, industrialists and financiers had been seized by a powerful Sinomania.
About the Author