Probing China's Soul: Religion, Politics, and Protest in the People's Republic

Julia Ching, Author, Jack Chen, Author
Julia Ching, Author, Jack Chen, Author HarperCollins Publishers $18.95 (269p) ISBN 978-0-06-250139-4
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Relying on research sources in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Ching, who teaches at the University of Toronto, goes beyond Western newspaper headlines to present a graphic, invaluable picture of mainland China today. Tiananmen Square, she writes, was only one of the sites in the bloody military crackdown of June 1989; troops injured or killed thousands of Beijing residents, and there have been some 120,000 arrests, with reports of torture. An expatriate who spent her formative years in China, Ching maintains that the dehumanization of the last four decades cannot be laid at the door of Confucius, whose teachings stressed benevolent government. She argues that Deng Xiaoping and his inner circle of octogenarians have alienated themselves from the Chinese people. Despite repression, old Buddhist and Taoist beliefs persist, she claims. Her superb account punctures the stereotype, still current among some China-watchers, that the Chinese people are somehow different from Westerners and not ready for democracy. (July)
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