The Western press these days is full of stories on China’s arrival as a superpower, some even warning that the future may belong to her. Western political and business delegations stream into Beijing, confident in China’s economy, which continues to grow rapidly. Crowning China’s new status, Beijing will host the 2008 Olympic Games.
But as Guy Sorman reveals in The Empire of Lies China’s success is, at least in part, a mirage. 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. Popular discontent simmers, especially in the countryside, where it often flares into violent confrontation with Communist Party authorities. In truth, China’s economic “miracle” is rotting from within.
In this extraordinary book, Sorman explains how the West has conferred greater legitimacy on China than do the Chinese themselves. He has visited the country regularly for forty years and spent most of the past three years exploring her teeming cities and remotest corners. 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.