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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 25, 2016 8:33pm-10:07pm EST

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[inaudible conversations] >> good evening tonight is a sellout it is great to have you here and for a fabulous evening. "the new yorker" on china looking beckett decades of reporting, it is a very special night and a convergence of anniversary celebrating its 90th to have access to china after
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the revolution with the five distinguished guest panelists tonight collectively over 100 years' observation and you'll find this very enlightening and entertaining. this includes our own the asia society and the founding director but i have learned recently the first contribution to "the new yorker" and there is five consecutive issues fully devoted to but i learned that he was so delighted.
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the u.n. to allot a tractor in california and then to head to the countryside. [laughter] for the asia society this six year anniversary with it john rockefeller the third. and i am team very serious about one question when did they get interested in asia and china? it's a playback to 1863 and 64 when the original rockefeller spent half of the salary of the store clerk and then went to help to know their children.
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from that the family's interest in and devotion to china including the founding of the medical board in 1914 celebrating 100th anniversary in john d. rockefeller the third falling gold were to stop the world needed a center to focus on u.s. asia relations and if there's trouble in the future opportunity would come between the west and east and created the asia society. there are too important landmarks. this is part of the china phial that was an online magazine team of people. and we did a series of these
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bring in a generation and then reported on the chinese civil war. also the "wall street journal" and financial times and now "the new yorker". rarely orville is the moderator tonight he is a panelist. we do have an on-line audience. that can join the conversation live and ask questions and please welcome the editor of "the new yorker." [applause]
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and good evening i need to caution you that one of this for a panel on the middle east i would be at home. i have been to china twice. so you will forgive my nightie questions i will do the best i can for writers out in the field from beijing and shanghai are hongkong lower as in the
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case american institutions write down the street bellamy introduce the panelist to my immediate right she blocks frequently about current events on the to publish prize-winning books on the homeless and. as was weirdly but second to maya last his then age for.
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and then with the 2013 and i wisely stole him through the first piece in china was about a gold medalist in boxing from neoconservatism why young men and women studied english. and the triad that try to extract money from him in the ways you can predict. and earlier this year the president of china and acidly remarkable feat of reporting when you don't have access to the subject. it was the age of ambition basically winning every award.
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>> that was not to do. [laughter] >> first living there with the peace corps to teach at a teachers' college with a small city in the southwest and that became the subject of astonishing but called river town. and then started writing to "the new yorker" with a trilogy of books and publishing a collection of pieces like nepal and japan dispatches from the east and west. still lives with his wife and five year-old twins the
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equally gentle underpopulated place called cairo. [laughter] born in beijing living extensively and rights fluently and his elegantly in both language. i don't attorneys. [laughter] but i am sure that is the case. they are transforming a country with the movers and shakers and finally at the grand old man of china i mean that with a love. it is an astonishment that he served as the dean with a
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grass roots in journalism and a scholar and writer and producer in the teacher and has written a bunch of books on china. you went to china for "the new yorker" for the first time in the '70s. to lay the groundwork, not like what bill whole world is to reporters but what wasn't like to arrive in china as a reporter? how did you live? food did you know, ? literally like others to make sense out of china from the outside.
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precisely with the refusal to except us. and that willingness to assimilate. and it was a moment the trip if you do. i spoke chinese. as the indebted -- ended adjustability. nobody felt comfortable having an informal conversation with you. to allow unauthorized interaction.
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with that you work brigade in the commune and then in the factory in shanghai. very ritualized. and wondering what to make of the place. >> and when i arrived with already starts ringing. but this is the style. democracy palestinians have all types of things to say but it is easy 1/2 to read it. if you can't find a story
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there go do something else. >> you are on a work brigade you're not there to write about politics but how d.c. a story then yorker expects what? i cannot even imagine. >> i was in the beijing hotel that had just gone up the only high rise building in beijing. if you have been there recently he would know better but thinking there is literally nobody to call on the full. [laughter] in those days you had to resign yourself it wasn't to find out things for investigative reporting for interviews but what china
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wanted to present itself or wanted you to see. >> if you look back we were writing there is dead giant literature no doubt from chinese writers what did you get right? >> being better while mao was still alive not one single scintilla of evidence. so you look at it into a hussy easily the fracture point or the contradictions but just the defeat.
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the part that was hard to get right to is the internal forces driving this country in the way in which it would go and was a profound lesson for me that it often undergoes tectonics changes. >> you grew up there obviously and then to go in new york. >> as he was telling his story and in the '80s ended
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up in south carolina it was the state capital but i felt it was nothing white guy expected out in the boonies. with a was a student in scholarship and a show around campus by the english department to testify aided someone from red china. but they were actually apologizing to me we really don't know anything. day you have electricity? he would ask me, grasshoppers' dipped in chocolate sauce. [laughter] then there was little contact between the two countries.
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the and you have no right to call so my classmates in china would say you are in america. [laughter] so we have a mutual ignorance or suspicion or misconception. >> picking up "the new york times" and reading about china an english did it resemble reality in any way? was interesting what was it like reading about the other side of the moon? >> in the '80s as a student before my new yorker days. [laughter] >> try "the new york times." [laughter]
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>> but after a wetback to china and came back it was such a myth it would first published my piece in "the new yorker" people really thought it was the place he did have good writing and a quirky take on china. it is viewed as a writer's magazine but i had something to do with returning to the states and. that was one of the first subjects of china pop. smokehouse that was a
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confusing period blige generation had a romantic idea with free speech. >> did we disappoint you? that i'm not joking. >> it is a sobering subject but the vision has changed a laudable sides. watching the republican debate the other day. [laughter] >> can i say i'm sorry? one. [laughter] i turned to my wife and i say i apologize. and the republican debate. >> it didn't come out of nowhere because of the last
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15 years there are two types of china bashing going on regularly. there is the ominous giant and it will crush us. the other is a paper tiger on the verge of imminent collapse all the people that are getting short on china but it is somewhere in between that people are really proud of the achievements but american now is also worried. most tend to see strength with the unstoppable march.
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more than 50% see china as the number-one superpower. when the chinese here about this they are taken aback that this is a western conspiracy. and the new act stupid n you fall. and then to try to push as back and contain less but then to be mutually reinforcing in fact, basses with -- this is of the subtle journalism. >> you came to china in the unusual way.
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you came here as a peace corps volunteer and was interested in writing at princeton. live thank you were interested in writing from the get-go. restarted from very different place. what restrictions if any when you got there? or had times changed you can dig in in a way that was difficult? >> i didn't see myself as a writer and majored in fiction to show up in the peace corps i remember my first semester was about china at all.
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it did feel impenetrable but that they showed up with no chinese. none of us did. >> i hear it is easy. [laughter] in the town of a couple hundred thousand. with that was all you had to do. menu couldn't travel. >> one because life was miserable and it was very hard. people would laugh at you and they would call you a freak. >> becomes weary. but i wasn't thinking of myself as a writer to see
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the way it looked to my students and we have these textbooks there is a section on college life with the south carolina and students were robbed. and random facts. and then the section on homosexuality. and they gave people have a lot of money. so they started to think about that. [laughter] . .
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doing the same thing in the opposite direction. i just felt like people need some context. not the most extreme stories. >> how much time do we have? >> we have plenty of time, it's raining and cold. >> it is the extreme. either america is aa place of constant crime or everyone is rich. >> influenced by starting? >> the way you write about your local community.
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foreign coverage follows the same pattern as local coverage. >> you have to find the extremes and the things that are messed up thatto have to be fixed. it is an appropriate.of coverage. the problem is that tradition is very deeply entrenched. foreign correspondents arrive in other countries and do the same kind of thing. things need to be fixed are egregious. it just kind of confuses americans. the foreign reporter has to serve a different function. you know, not everyone would agree with me. >> when your reading stuff, intelligent people who speak chinese for the most part.
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what are your frustrations? >> you know, i guess often it seems overly political whereas i think often the social -- may be looking more social frame reference else trying to get some sense of how people interact sometimes less than just picking one issue and one point in time which is really important. >> we should be honest. a conversation that we have had for years. tradition of the new yorker is that the writer wins. i am still alive, but the writer does when. the idea is you are there and i am not an every writer, it is meant to be a
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writer's magazine although there are times in a highly politicized moment you read politically. it is not your go to think it is fair to say. more comfortable writing about the social. now, evan it comes from a newspaper background my see this 15 degrees differently. writers are different. give me a sense. when you land in china what your restrictions are comeau what your approaches. >> i was thinking, describing the experience of how different that is then being a local newspaper, ii had that experience before. i was a correspondent for the chicago tribune based in new york, sent to new york
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is a new york correspondent. i wrote stories, they are proud people. theypeople. they had taken me in as one of their own. the food is exquisite. and that actually was a useful function. in some ways that is what you are trying to do. there is that danger of essential ozzy people to one element which is true. by the time i set foot in china i have been shaped as a writer. all of this stuff is in the eastern. as a literature of china that simply did not exist. they had to create a literature.
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by the time i got there the idea of the deprivation our lifestyle basis, a little different in 2,005. it was brief. very unpleasant. and in fact, the idea that china was changing, everything flipped on its head. china was constantly changing and moving in this inexhaustible direction. we had this outline in our mind that it was probably going to be similar if to something that we would recognize in the west. >> it was a mistake. when i think back one of the things that i came to assume is that it would move down this path every year to get
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a little more open and ultimately keep moving in that direction. fundamentally this is a slightly different conversation, but that is probably still true. we need to talk more seriously these days and acknowledge what is going on at the moment. >> a historical moment in time. the collapse of communism, collapse of the soviet union, the moment in 1989 china gave the united states the sense that everything was moving in terms of pop-culture. americanism, universal americanism with chinese characteristics. colossal. >> being taxed on the subject.
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it was a failure of our expectation of china. >> we are very western and look at china through westernize. history is moving in a direction toward openness and freedom. what is interesting now, maybe that is at least called in the question. maybe there's a different direction. >> you left china when you were young, but you also lived inside. you are new yorker. you read chinese. you have been involved. a researcher in fact checker for both of these guys in and started writing for us and ii would imagine there will come a time when you might write for china. seeing this now and moving forward what do you think
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should be the next step? >> i think the question that you post earlier about what it feels like to read reporting, for me i remember when i was able, new york times and i read reports on china, it felt like seeing an x-ray of china. what, i mean, by that is they all seem to be in the right place, but what i had my head was the vein come all of that seemed very accurate. i felt like western reporters must've found a very conscientious job, but that sense of intimacy that
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i felt and in myself i think the warring allegiances, keep in mind i spent 1st and 2nd grade in china and was exceptionally slow. very much, nobody could -- with the child's sense of stubbornness nobody could stand china the way i do. and i spent the past two decades trying to reconcile that very visceral sense of loyalty to the country and that feeling that i get it in a way that no one else does.
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>> even though i find myself in a strange position of often times defending china to western friends and then defending western perceptions of china to my chinese friends. and feeling like somehow trying to find -- >> your implicated somehow. >> that has been the story. >> how does that influence your writing? >> it could be a very fruitful kind attention.
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after i've been the states for some years everything is irritating and i get into this wild swing, parents, friends, they all seem to not understand america. that would be charged. >> selloff. foreign devils. i have that dual kind of loyalty issue that alternately that insider outsider position intention have certain advantages for writing because you do have that kind of intimacy.
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because you are outside your also gaining some distance with certain objectivity. in order to get over this skin rash i need to run away and come back so that i can looki can look at what i'm writing in china with a more clear i. >> talk about this subject to being wrong, the anxiety of being wrong is a diplomat are journalists. famously during famine, killed and 30 million people said that i saw no starving people in china. i was recently on a reporting tripa reporting trip to the middle east and talking to an american diplomat have been an ambassador and so we really,
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we did not see this coming in any way. the cia, daniel patrick moynihan of the cia should have closed. and this diplomat was saying one of the problems is that we are hunkered down, restricted in certain ways unique to the middle east and south asia but also the netflix phenomenon. we bring our culture with us. this would not have been a life of salisbury of the chinese equivalent. as we make mistakes, what are we missing now? if you had to guess, thinking about china what are we missing and why? what should be our anxiety about knowledge in china now? >> take a crack.
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>> a longer ia longer i try to parse through history makes an enormous difference. keep acting out and we are often we understand the simpleminded version and china doesn't do such a great job in understanding its own history. but be that as it may it keeps expressing itself. imagine the famine. people are so fraught with problems and brutality.
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that is part of what is in the being of chinese. it is difficult for american are for. >> what are we missing? i think is still to place. we miss a lot. is geographically yard to spend time there. >> they live in beijing and shanghai. letter looked at him.
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it's hard to find that kind of time. i was working on the book. kind of justify this. the newspaper person can do that. also for me personally the thing i wouldi would like to do is find the place said necessarily an issue. sometimes i think a lot about methodology. it's a product oriented field. no footnote.
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i think we have to be deliberate in your research structure. if you are covering an event that is what you are going to do and sometimes of muddiesit muddies the waters. >> police on alert. i never got hassled by the police. the same thing in egypt to half years now. nothing is going on. you notice them. >> sometimes just go to a place that may be representative and statistically speaking i witnessed personally the tax official shaking down entrepreneurs.
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workers applying for jobs for how they use the children. >> in my extensive research at your dinner table in beijing it seems the conversation always gets down to the push and pull, the fact that the beijing government and the power structure has willy-nilly a tremendous cost to the environment and much else out of all of the ugly features. it seems to me constant discussion, doing too much of one, not enough of the other. a dynamic that goes on all the time. is there such a thing? how do you do this? how do you judge your own performance?
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it is so vast, so complicated, so populous and some things might even be hidden from you. >> the hardest problem of writing about china is figuring out the proportions of the portrait because any portrait has a certain composition of light and dark. a sign of extraordinary human projects of what has occurred. human development are shipped your attention and get a completely different story. you know, when you're trying
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to squeeze it into 10,000 words in your editors are telling you have to trim 100 hundred, what is the point of doing it? >> it is a constant struggle. trying to tweak the tolerances. >> give me one example. the way in which i think we may miss something, we already sensed we are moving in the american narrative of china and the political narrative that china is becoming more nationalistic perhaps. he read about the idea that the government is cultivating the spirit and every couple of years with some regularity there is a protest with people come into the streets say whatever it is. the truth is as you discover
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, this is one of the 1st toys i did at the new yorker, go and find those guys, the principal ideal, the ideologist really they really do want to chat. ego and spend a lot of time with these guys. they often they could hold two thoughts in my head. they could be absolutely enraged and at the same time have genuine respect for elements of american life. i'm in germany. really tough. studying in germany and going back to china as we anticipate new scratch it is
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you discover not scratch very far leave the surface. all these things. by the certain regressive movement, the political severe. we have to be careful not to fall back to this kind of old battery.
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two totally different animals. and you're talking talking about rising factionalism in china. it's not that different when you boil it down. >> nationalism. the portrait. >> nationalism is firmly in power in china. and barack obama is a hyper nationalist. >> is not. he is the person to blame.
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being toobeing too weak for example, too soft on muslims in all this. what i am saying is that i think you know okay, let's bring back the republican debate. trouble. senator rand paul is saying something like democracy is the utopian project. mother is a sobering lesson that america is trying to learn, china is a very different story. and it would be overkill. no one ever talked about regime change. it is important for the americans to continue to see china as having overlapping and similar aspirations economically and politically
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, and it is important to keep on paying attention and supporting those individuals who may be marginalized systematically, but they are actually still enjoying sympathy and support sometimes silent, sometimes not so silent. >> this is a constant argument. somehow they got too much attention. if you get a readout of numbers by new york times somebody is way too much. how do you to feel? >> i think i definitely see the.earlier that focusing on
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the place and social issues that exist outside of the political hotspot. i think that a lot of times there is so much. a bit of an unknown quantity. you know when china exists, anything that happens, any phenomenon whether the nationalist, group of rich chinese rather than conceptualizing it in social and economic terms. those impulses are universal.
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>> did not write about high-profile distance. basically three places over the course of my 11 years old was aa small village outside of beijing. fairly different places geographically. i didi did see the same dynamic in each place, a lot of talented people were recruited. >> they went to the party. >> many of them. >> i have this idea before i went they're that the smartest kids will be dissidents. he was a board member. the smart kids who just went
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off in a different direction. and the people in all these communities and ended up actively resisting ran out of options are corrections and this was a striking pattern. one was in 9896, another and so is not necessarily an uplifting story. this makes sense to me. the talent is on the recruited and co-opted and the people that are most likely to resist and ii remember a really sad scene, building a dam and there were people were protesting, unhappy and showing me all these documents in making the case that comes away
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this is my goal. and i ended up giving it to him because i felt bad. it's sort of sad. howsad. how they going to possibly deal with this problem and they can't even communicate with me. and then the only guy who became confident, who you live for, at the end of the conversation asked what you do here. i also sell tiles. selling building materials for the new town. he saw this kind of thing a
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lot. >> one of the dynamics in journalism is how you are played back into the country where you are. and they ease way things have played back in the communist countries was the radio and that kind of thing. we start publishing in the new yorker that you have any present city in china that what you published and how does that affect your life as a writer? >> the cultural revolution. almost play with different acts.
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the persona expressing itself. it is just a different aspect that comes to the fore. when people were publishing translations of philosophy looking at new kinds of political structures and at that point no one wrote came back. some chinese. >> the best. >> weapons, philosophers. >> heidegger was a bestseller.
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>> it was incredible. andthen china started to become a little more open. with the interaction is the foreign press. is not the whole story. activists that is just expressing. expressed through deals and read about it exchanged.
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>> again, now you hear it in private conversation. you won't see it so much in public media. and they are utilitarian. chinese culture and society. politics and running for office. that's true in every country. >> that's your experience? >> one of the things of a specific, it was not as if there were these bright lines. the used to be a clear distinction. he made a choice to become political. he wrote brilliantly about it in the new yorker. my favorite ever.
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in the period in which i was living there in the beginning of 2005 was a2005 was a very interesting time when people were self politicizing this technology was changing. you canyou can go online and have a voice and say something and identify and find people who would agree or disagree, choose your tribe, and so that was -- there was a time when we used to assume most people have been so poor that they did not care about politics. it was true. it had been so bitterly hard that the idea of concerning themselves with abstract notions of values the distraction people could not afford, there was a guy who wrote about a street sweeper on the stripper we lived
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there when i met him i thought i understood the contour of his life. guy who wears in orange suit and as a straw hat. i started talking to him. people here think i have no culture, no, no education. what they don't know is i'm a poet and a moderate online. thought it was completely bonkers. and there he was. he was a celebrity. he was a figure with authority and had an identity i was completely detached from what would be visible if you showed up and looked at him. in that way it was an extraordinary time with people were developing additional lives which was thrilling to describe. >> what is it like to be sitting here in new york trying to follow china and
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chinese this and chinese life through various online mechanisms, and if you could describe what those mechanisms are aware there are limited, where they are exciting. such a 5th two cops a sophisticated group. but tell me what all my life was like what you can find out. >> i constantly suffer from fear of missing out when i am reading whether it is through way of war and it does feel like the building and you don't quite know what neighborhoods are going to flourish and i am always -- i mean, a lot of times
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when i'm interested in, but the conversation is like an what i find often times it is not what i expect. earlier when you were talking about distance i think for a lot -- whenever i talk to chinese friends about just the idea of politics abroad or what there significances, i often since defensiveness on their part. well, that is what you westerners focus on. and your narrative is that there always heroes. because they are not part of mainstream somehow they are
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better than the rest of us. and whenus. and when i asked them what concerns them, their idea of what is relevant is often times so different than what i see in western media. so on live find not all threats, sometimes when they talk about a book that is particularly appealing it is not always the books themselves and how they see the book and their vision of china sort of coheres with what they see. >> what do you drive? >> there is actually wild kind of creative energy if you search. thousands, 70,000 silos, bloggers making all kinds of noises in all directions. when i earlier talked, beijing feels like a skin
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rash to me. the other side, as soon as i leave i come back and have this itch. you realize there are all these possibilities. they have multiple. >> complex human beings. >> being shut out of the internet at this point. >> ongoing and intensifying censorship of the political commentary is still going on his people hope the pseudonyms and then more
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private and harder to track. >> not reliably. >> it becomes more of a target. thousandsthousands of professionals sitting in major portals, and that's there job. and i thinki think the dissidents are just out of the open. good citizens because they know is dangerous. you know, people want to show at some.they also have our. the do good defensive when they get accused of being a power. there is a lot of talk,
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cynical kind of person so much that it becomes a fake person. a lot going on. we should remember what was said earlier. that no clue something that happened college did happen majorly subpoena years later there is that predictability of place of vast and complex so we should not have any conclusion. >> this is the moment, a slightly uncomfortable hands.
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would you want to have questions from you and feel free to fire away. zero, good. happy volunteer right there. >> right there. your next i promise. >> stand and deliver. >> thank. >> thank you guys for the great presentation. >> can you hear me now? >> ii can. i just want to give a compliment twice. >> my question is for those that are native chinese why did you leave china. why haven'twhy haven't you gone back to live in china? >> personal ?-question-mark okay.
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>> i did not have a choice. following my parents in terms of why i haven't i want to go back to china and still figuring out a way to do that they can make sense. >> was that a question? >> maybe should explain it. >> actually i was born and came as a student and then returned to live in china and i was still two fellows actually there.
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afterwards i moved back again and i went back and forth. currently i divide my year half-and-half between china and the us. >> i just assume you needed. >> the partnership which president obama seems to imply that he wants to contain china economically. why not engage china or encourage china to join. china receptive to joining that and you can have some universal rules of international trade and finance.
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>> i think actually it's interesting when you said that obama says -- actually, actually, is pretty emphatic about not using that kind of language. there is an impression among some that that is the intent actually, if you look at a slightly different way, designed to enhance the american relationship with other countries. and in the beginning chinese trading foreign-policy officials were opposed to the idea. and today if you talk to people in beijing people come to washington and say we recognize in the long run this is not that bad. thethe united states had not signed the trade deal with asia, the so-called pivot would have been a military exercise all about security.
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this reminds or so, it'sso, it's a much broader part of the relationship they just security. i wouldn't count out the idea that we may find ourselves. >> am going to make you run. >> my question, when i left china when i was young, trying to write about china but it turned out there a lot of cultural subtleties. trying to explain. how do you guys -- and more important, sometimes i get a feeling that western
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american may not even care. how can you make this a relatable? >> is that the question? >> yes. >> peter. >> ii don't know how to answer. knowing your subject obviously is important. so outlandish. but i think basically the same as writing is america. writing about things in egypt and israel really different places. fundamentally the same act. requires the same kind of
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like work. made things a little harder. the same tools. >> the next question was down here. >> really very bad at this. >> thank you. we discuss howdiscussed how new yorker cover china tonight. one of the many changes is the wave of nonfiction writing in china. the chinese writers and fiction styles and what is
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missing in those pieces. what makes a good writer. >> take a crack at that. >> a lot of magazines. magazines. very much inspired by the new yorker. i can think of to that i know. >> it was quite astounding. five consecutive issues. and you really have a chance to feel, the challenge in china and writing this way is that it is not challenges they are confronting at
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person around. i show up. it was standing room only, kid sitting in the aisles all of them working journalists, young journalists. i was genuinely moved by their interest in fact checking because it's more than technical process. there are facts and they can ascertain them and that they matter than that he should fight hard to document them. a lot of the reporters working in chinese media, it media, it was an exotic experience. a chinese editor. >> in a personal way. he wrote a piece in a chinese newspaper, i was fact checked by the new yorker. >> we have some questions were brothers and sisters on
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the internet. this is from john pappas in new york. how is it possible to be as good-looking as you are? >> that is angelica tanks question. is it necessary today and what will they massive they don't? a pretty straightforward question. >> i think even if you do it so sort of profoundly boundless. you would still miss an enormous amount because their classical layers of history. >> you should pretend that we are not here.
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is it really impossible for people to know who are not native chinese speakers to no chinese efficient to get around? >> two points. one, i found having worked with both non-native speakers in a sense because they were so exceptionally scrupulous i no 99 degrees. but i find because there are
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aware of being a foreign presence in china. they go out of their way the speaker but i do have an experience, a formal cultural minister. when i looked at the pages i saw a massacre. this method of checking line by line. not only had that experience also with red ink. >> yeah. >> even someone, very high-profile writer.
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a little bit shocked of getting this phone call, just checking whether he said this and that. that is aa message for a lot of chinese journalists that is new. started in china it was not even called nonfiction. literary repertoire. on top of the mountain and all kinds of subjects. it is very opinionated and subjective. the very little regard for the facts. this was a totally different era. today new yorkers probably the leading magazine showing an example of how important fact checking is.
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>> is right. that will be hard to accomplish. >> we only have a couple more minutes. the top ten lists. not long ago i read chinese history with some volume. i read henry kissinger's book on china. the most important. may or may not be accurate. a recommendation on a book i may not have read about china that i can read in translation.
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doesn't have to be a desert island type of thing. >> the history book. 1522 or something. what is the year? anyway, it's a great history book. a random year. it's just aa nice way to put history and the perspective. >> it was memorable. i think the british chinese.
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>> i did. >> you turn this into a quiz show. >> it follows the life of beijing taxi truth before the present and basically takes you through 1500 years of chinese history. he history. he was a palace made he was raised at one point, a young bride sold in the prostitution. so in fiction format was a great way of thinking through the darkness in chinese history. >> the french historian and diplomat. anyway, the title of the book is the mobile empire. ..
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>> talked a lot about chinese history. in the follow-up -- >> okay, there is a book that i love which is edited by an anthropologist. and he headed it in a book of essays by chinese students who have gone on to be anthropologist and amazing scholars. saying that they have this rigor in their work and they also come added with their chinese sensibility. so you get these extraordinary essays. one of the pieces is about how china went from this where they bought and sold blood donations. to a society in which people choose to donate blood.
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those are minor things that we would never notice that are profound. i really think it is terrific. not odd. >> he wrote wonderfully insightful and often quite dark accounts of china. and he wrote in the 20s indicted in the '30s and he is also incompatible in the sense it is that he deeply loved it china. but he was deeply dark. uncritical. but i think that he understood the great state of contradiction
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in which his country existed. and i think it continued in this great state of contradiction to go at it in a similar way. >> i really want to thank the panelists are being extraordinary. thank you very much. [cheers] [applause] >> coming up on c-span2, the supreme court oral argument. a case centering on free speech. after that a discussion on legislation in the u.s. house to impose sanctions on iran and to overturn a veto by president obama or planned parenthood funding. later it gushes on u.s. and china relations and perceptions.
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>> on the next "washington journal" we talked as john higgins, senior writer with the washington examiner. then a week ago before the iowa caucuses, our guest is it editor and publisher of nation magazine on progressive politics and campaign 2016. "washington journal" is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on the stand. and you can join the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. >> the iowa caucuses are one week away and tuesday the road to the white house coverage continues with residential candidate senator bernie sanders and hillary clinton. senator sanders talks with united steelworkers and takes questions at a campaign town hall in des moines. that is live at 11:00 a.m. eastern. and hillary clinton speaks to campaigners in marshalltown, iowa, starting at 9:30 p.m.
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eastern. >> well, the countdown is on and as we approach the iowa caucuses, we are really the only place where you can watch these events unfold as they happen. whether it is a campaign rally, houseparty, a town hall meeting. covering a policy speech, nobody else is going to give you that unfiltered look at the candidates work the crowd and talk to voters and make their best sales pitch. we are going to be crisscrossing iowa for the next couple of days leading up to the caucuses and we will be covering all of the candidates democrat and republican keeping an eye on what happens because we will be the only network that will actually take you to the republican and democratic caucus. so if you ever really wondered how it happened, watch c-span. >> next, the supreme court oral argument in the city of
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paterson, new jersey. officers decide whether they violated the free-speech rights of an officer that was demoted after his superiors supported that he supported this. >> mr. chief justice, public employees have a right not to be demoted on patroness grounds and does not really matter if you are affiliated with a specific hearty or nonaffiliated. it does not matter if you are mistakenly perceived by your employer or supervisor that you are engaged in political association to be protected by the first


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