The Corner


Cohen of China

Before I began my Q&A with Jerry Cohen, he said, “As they say in the Ministry of Public Security — shoot.” Jerome A. Cohen is a veteran China hand. He is a law professor, a onetime clerk for both Warren and Frankfurter on the Supreme Court. He taught at Harvard for many years; he has long been at NYU. And he is a China scholar. In addition to that scholarship, he has helped dissidents, political prisoners, and democracy activists over the years. He is revered by those in the Chinese democracy movement, broadly speaking.

On Q&A, we talk about China, of course. More specifically, we talk about the nature of the CCP; the nature of Xi Jinping; the factor of nationalism; Tibet; Hong Kong; Taiwan; Falun Gong; Christians; the stance of the West; and so on. Cohen is a splendid explainer, a splendid teacher — a rare combination of head and heart.

Do you know what got Cohen started in matters Chinese? How he was bitten by “the China bug”? It has to do with Dean Rusk, before Rusk became secretary of state.

Again, our podcast is here. See what so many see in Jerry Cohen.

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