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Every country has corruption, but China’s was approaching a level of its own.

For those at the top, the scale of temptation had reached a level unlike anything ever encountered in the West.

Let your public self be like rice in a dinner: bland and inconspicuous, taking on the flavors of its surroundings while giving off no flavor of its own.” ― Evan Osnos, “The longer I lived in China, the more I sensed that the Chinese people have outpaced the political system that nurtured their rise.

The Party has unleashed the greatest expansion of human potential in world history—and spawned, perhaps, the greatest threat to its own survival.” ― Evan Osnos, “Americans tend to see themselves in control of their fate, while Chinese see fate as something external,” Lam, the professor, said.

In some villages, a real estate arms race began, as families sought to outdo one another by building extra floors, which sat empty until they could afford to furnish them.

Between 20, home prices in Beijing, Shanghai, and other big cities rose by up to 800 percent.” ― Evan Osnos, “With so many thinkers “spending so much energy fighting over words and ink, we have forgotten to criticize government authority; we have forgotten to pay attention to social welfare.

Why China became so thrilling to me is because of the sheer unpredictability of people’s lives.” Continue reading In today’s China, ideas spread with speed and breadth.

“Whenever a new idea sweeps across China—a new fashion, a philosophy, a way of life—the Chinese describe it as a ‘fever.’ In the first years after the country opened to the world, people contracted ‘Western Business Suit Fever’ and ‘Jean-Paul Sartre Fever’ and ‘Private Telephone Fever.’ It was difficult to predict when or where a fever would ignite, or what it would leave behind,” Osnos writes. Ignited by loosened economic mores, China is producing winners and losers of heretofore unknown magnitudes: women who made megafortunes in online dating or trash collection; a railroad bureaucrat so successfully corrupt, his giant piles of embezzled cash are actually mouldering (! For every headline name, a million others scrape for a spot in the emerging middle class.

Several pitfalls await those who attempt to turn their experience in the Middle Kingdom into stories that can capture the lives and aspirations of ordinary people in a nation of 1.3 billion that has been transformed beyond recognition by 35 years of unbridled economic growth.

Many succumb to the sins of superficiality, oversimplification and lack of perspective.

The municipal party secretary was on the block for 1,000.

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