cover image China's Fate

China's Fate

Edward A. Gargan, Author Doubleday Books $22.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-385-26320-7

This vivid dossier by a former New York Times Beijing bureau chief contrasts the China of America's collective imagination--a ``beautiful and mysterious land,'' by Henry Kissinger's reckoning--with the brutal reality of a backward country where political hysteria, ruthless persecution and imprisonment are commonplace. Gargan blasts the Bush and Reagan administrations' China policy, which has basically ignored human rights considerations and gives valuable, personal accounts of China's repressions in Tibet, of the Tiananmen Square bloodbath and of the thousands of arbitrary arrests following the massacre. Four decades of Communist Party rule have effaced much of what is distinctly Chinese about China, Gargan concludes. His interviews with dissident students, impoverished villagers, writers, cab drivers and prostitutes give a sharp sense of a people yearning for change. (Feb.)