Why have authorities detained 1,000 members of an obscure religious group in rural China? The issue may turn out to be central to the new Chinese leadership, as I argue in this piece for the New York Review of Books.
China is kind of weird that way. The Party seems to have inherited from the Emperors the role of supreme arbiter of values so they are playing the role of a religion in some ways. Or one could say that was also the goal of Leninism to create the new Soviet man, so there is a neat confluence of both Chinese and ideological tradition that makes it hard for them to accept any disagreement on religious grounds.
Arne Westad on China's selfish foreign policy echoing its historical sinocentric world view. Professor Westad has just authored a fine overview of 250 yrs of Chinese foreign policy called "Restless Empire," which I highly recommend as a one-stop overview of China's interactions with the outside world.
David Barboza continues his look at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's family fortune, this time detailing how regulators under Wen saved a Chinese insurance company, which turned his family into billionaires. Amazing investigative work, almost all from public documents.