Glad That's Cleared Up! China Soft-Power Watch #29,168

The proudly nationalist Global Times has reassuring news for those concerned about the denial of a visa for Melissa Chan, the (excellent) China correspondent for Al-Jazeera, who will soon be leaving Beijing and closing the Al-Jazeera bureau behind her:


Phew! That is so good to know.

Among those who will feel much better after this clarification are Evan Osnos of the New Yorker ("China is moving backward..."), Isaac Stone Fish of Foreign Policy ("the troubling pattern of the foreigners Beijing has targeted over the last decade..."), and James McGregor of One Billion Customers, as quoted by Josh Chin in the Wall Street Journal ("Before, China used to try to influence foreign journalists. Now they're trying to control them the same way they control local journalists, through intimidation...")* I'm sure that, like me, you will feel better too after you compare Global Times's account with these others. This is what soft power is all about.
* Disclosure: Osnos and McGregor are friends whom I saw often while in China, and I've had some professional contact with Fish and Chin and respect their work. I know Melissa Chan only through her reporting. FYI, and because it complicates this case, she is a U.S. citizen. Isaac Stone Fish examines the implications of her national and ethnic identity.
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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