Magazine August 1, 2011, Issue

China’s Big Lie

From the cover of Such Is This World@sars.come (Ragged Banner Press)
Such Is This World@sars.come, by Hu Fayun, translated by A. E. Clark (Ragged Banner Press, 536 pp., $38)

There has never been a good time to be an honest writer in Communist China, but the present is an exceptionally bad time. Spooked by the “Arab Spring” and jostling for position in next year’s scheduled leadership changes, the party bosses have been coming down hard on every kind of independent thinking. The cases of Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo and artist Ai Weiwei have been well publicized, but there are many others.

Essayist Liu Xianbin, released in 2008 after nine years’ imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power,” was rearrested last summer. In March of this year, he was

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In all fairness, he promised he’d stop the seas from rising. He didn’t say anything about the debt ceiling.

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