Impatient Giant: Red China Today

Impatient Giant: Red China Today

Impatient Giant: Red China Today

Impatient Giant: Red China Today

Excerpt

I am not an expert in any of the various fields touched on in this book: history, ideology, economics, psychology, sociology. Yet firsthand observation inside a country, I believe, is more fruitful than merely reading books or listening to muffled echoes of events in such peripheral posts as Hong Kong. I am a reporter, not a theoretician; as a reporter I must keep abreast of developments over a broad expanse of human activity and try to relate them factually. Many years in the foreign field, among them journeys into such Communist countries as the Soviet Union, Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, have equipped me with some experience to select the significant from the trivial, the truth from the fabrication. If contradictions appear in my report, it is because China itself is full of contradictions. We visualize the Chinese as traditional individualists, yet they have shown an amazing aptitude, and, in a sense, willingness, to accept the herding of communal life.

Since my return from China I have narrated television documentaries on China, shown by the Columbia Broadcasting System in the United States, the British Broadcasting Corporation in Britain, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Canada. In Britain, the right-wing Daily Telegraph complained that the commentary gave too favorable a version of material achievements in Red China. The Communist Daily Worker, which took exception to my remarks about the fearful regimentation of men's minds and the loss of personal dignity, said I was concerned "only to distort what is happening in China." Neither writer of these criticisms had ever been to China.

If, in agitating both extremes, I have struck a direction some-

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