THIS IS CHINA

ITS A SAYING that adequately captures the complexities, contradictions, and chaos that surrounds the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) as much as it was used by expats in Africa. Its meaning evokes nostalgic adventures on the mainland as much as it offers an explaintion to emerging events with a preverbal shrug of the shoulders.

But the PRC has long been active on the world stage and deserves far more time and effort to comprehend than we have given it. Its time to seriously approach trending issues on the PRC as they happen and clarify their meanings. But how does one begin to tackle these issues in a sea of (mis)information?

Enter ChinaAnalyzed: A resource developed for veteran China watchers and budding learners alike. ChinaAnalyzed is a blog devoted to compiling and centralizing information, publicizing vital online resources, and developing analyses on trending issues to enable China watchers to better stay in touch with the rational behind the actions of the PRC.

Readers are encouraged to suggest critical websites, books, apps and more, to the library of online resources that have made a difference in their journey as a China watcher. Authors will be duly credited for their submissions.

On August 25th, 2016 Scott Kennedy, Deputy Director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote an article on the lack of consensus that the China watching community had on an economic issue. It has been evident for some time that China watchers are unable to come to a consensus on fundamental questions, based on the key assumptions that different groups have made about which indicators are more important to take into consideration.

“…The signals that China analysts are sending to policymakers are conflicted, and sometimes contradictory. One can only hope that China analysts from the opposing camps will step up their dialogue to hash out [their] differences…”

(Scott Kennedy;  China Analysts Should Talk to Each Other, Not at Each Other; August 25, 2016; China File | http://bit.ly/2bN8U0w )

I agree. And such a comment could not have been more timely for the genesis of ChinaAnalyzed. China watchers as a community need to come together and work on creating a space, virtual or otherwise, to share information, have dialogues, and come to an agreement on key assumptions, so that we may speak as a cohesive group. Only then will we be able to produce effective analyses for the public and policy makers alike.

Gone are the days of the Old China Hand, the lone wolf exploring China and gathering knowledge like foreign riches in distant lands. Today we are well past the points of globalization and informatization; community is the new way forward.

(CC Photo Credit)

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