Jackal with a human face (updated)

The new issue of the Atlantic, just up on line (and available with great photos and new design for subscribers) has among many other offerings my article about the ways in which Chinese officialdom so often makes the country look so much worse than it really is. It also includes an explanation of the "jackal" headline here.*

I just know this will be taken by all concerned in the spirit of constructive criticism! That's what I'm saying to friends here in Beijing.

UPDATE: Interesting to see, in this BBC dispatch, that China's former ambassador to France is making a similar on-the-record constructive criticism of his own government. (Thanks to reader T.H.):

[Former ambassador] Wu Jianmin says China's image problem is caused at least in part by its own officials because they do not know how to communicate with the outside world.

He says they waste time using political cliches, talking nonsense, and making empty or outrageous claims.

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*Hint: when trying to discredit a Nobel Peace Prize winner also seen as a religious leader in much of the world and by some important sub-groups within China, what subtle imagery would some Chinese leaders choose?