Thank you for opening the eighth issue of China Hands.
We have greatly enjoyed putting together this issue of China Hands and our team of editors, writers, and artists has worked hard to create the product in your hands today.
In this issue, we present our third class of “25 Under 25” honorees: 25 students and professionals under the age of 25 leading the way in U.S.-China relations. Although these exceptional individuals give us hope for the future, the present issue is published at a tense time. As a historic U.S. presidential election comes to a close, the future of America’s role in East Asia has come into question (“Make East Asia Unstable Again?” and “China’s North Korea Paradox”), as has China’s place in a shifting world order (“China’s Uncertain Status”). Meanwhile, Xi Jinping has doubled down on his own authoritarian tendencies at home, quashing the hopes of reformers (“Battles of the Keyboard,” “The End of Civil Society?” and “Hong Kong 06/04/16”).
In spite of a darkening political picture, we see signs of hope in the form of China’s nascent solar industry (“Rays of Hope Over Shadows of Poverty”), in the fight for human rights in China (Interview with John Kamm), and in a budding effort to confront some of the demons of the Mao Era (“Of Art and Cultural Revolution”). Finally, the issue begins and ends with the healing power of art: visual and verbal, old and new (“In Other Words,” “Imagining Piety,” “Rorschach,” and “Fading Echoes”).
We hope these pieces encourage you to reflect on the social and cultural ties that bind us at a time when nations seem to be coming apart. Most of all, we hope you enjoy reading and viewing our work as much as we have enjoyed creating it.
Editors of China Hands