The Mirror of History: China Through the Looking Glass

Sinica is coming out a bit earlier than usual this week: We were lucky enough to catch Jeffrey Wasserstrom on Monday during a well-timed visit to Beijing, and dragged him into the studio to get his views on the recent elections in Wukan, what is happening in Beijing right now with the CPPCC, and also his more general thoughts on the way people tend to look into China’s past when seeking a mirror for its present: what comparisons are actually useful or valid for this current period?

For those unfamiliar with our guest this week, Jeffrey Wasserstrom is a professor of Chinese history at the University of California, Irvine, and the organizing force behind the excellent China blog The China Beat. Jeffrey is also the author of a number of popular books on China, including China’s Brave New World, Global Shanghai: 1850-2010, and China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know.