It’s a darkening time in China. Discouraging reports arrive about: the short- and longer-term prospects for its economy; its military and diplomatic relations with its neighbors and with the United States; its ever-tighter controls in Hong Kong and on the media, universities, lawyers, and NGOs in its own mainland territory; its ongoing multiple environmental crises; and on through a long list. This headline on a recent Guardian piece is a small representative sample:
In a country as vast and complex as China, there’s always another side to every story. So I was glad to see today’s feature in the South China Morning Post about four Chinese citizens in their early 20s who say that they plan to devote their talents and careers to (respectively) improving the press in China; defending LGBT rights; expanding the rule of law; and improving prospects for the rural poor in China and throughout the developing world.
These are the ambitions of China’s very first class of Rhodes Scholars, selected late last year to begin their studies at Oxford this fall.
The SCMP story does a good job of telling their stories and explaining why their aspirations are significant. You can also see the official announcement from the Rhodes House headquarters in Oxford, a WSJ story here, and further English-language Chinese coverage here, here, and here.