Beyond the glittering towers of the major Chinese cities, nearly one billion people still live in abject poverty. Rural China has been abandoned by the government: no schools, no health care, no hope. Discontent is expressed by rebellions, which are immediately put down by a brutal police force, while human-rights activists, religious leaders, and freethinkers are imprisoned or executed. As Guy Sorman reveals in The Empire of Lies, China’s success is, at least in part, an illusion. True, 200 million of her subjects, those fortunate enough to be working in an expanding global market, enjoy a middle-class standard of living. The remaining one billion, however, are among the poorest, most exploited people in the world.
As China opens up to the world, her people are becoming more aware, thanks especially to the Internet, and they are rebelling against the tyranny of the Communist Party. Disenchanted with growing injustice, corrupt officials, censorship, permanent surveillance, propaganda, and repression of the system, both the educated classes and the nearly one billion peasants who have been bypassed by Party-driven industrialization are protesting loudly.
Sorman has visited the country regularly for forty years. He has spent the past three years exploring her teeming cities and remotest corners, listening to these rebels in their quest for freedom; The Empire of Lies is the culmination of these travels and perhaps the only book on China that lets the Chinese people speak for themselves. Looking beyond the hyped growth rate of China, the propaganda of the Communist Party, and the lobbying of China’s clients and enemies, Sorman presents readers with a vivid portrait of the real China; he puts the truth in plain sight, revealing the dangers behind the illusions.
The Empire of Lies was first published in French in 2006. Since then the book has been translated and published in Poland , Spain , Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, and India. The U.S. edition has been updated with a new foreword.