February 17, 2020

Event Coverage Highlight

The Myth of Chinese Capitalism – Tiff Roberts Book Night

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In The Myth of Chinese Capitalism, OPC member Tiff Roberts explores the reality behind today’s China and pulls the curtain back on how the Chinese manufacturing machine is actually powered. Roberts lived in Beijing for two decades working as a reporter on economics, business and politics for Bloomberg Businessweek.

OPC Past President William J. Holstein will serve as host to discuss the book with Roberts on March 17 at Club Quarters.

In the book, Roberts focuses on two places: the village of Binghuacun in the province of Guizhou, one of China’s poorest regions that sends the highest proportion of its youth away to become migrants; and Dongguan, China’s most infamous factory town located in Guangdong, home to both the largest number of migrant workers and the country’s biggest manufacturing base.

Roberts brings to life the problems that China and its people face today as they attempt to overcome a divisive system that poses a serious challenge to the country’s future development. In so doing, Roberts paints a boot-on-the-ground cautionary picture of China for a world now held in its financial thrall.

Roberts is an award-winning journalist and speaker now serving as a Fellow at the University of Montana’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center. He is a regular commentator on the U.S.-China trade and political relationship. Previously he was China bureau chief and Asia News Editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, based in Beijing for more than two decades. He has reported from all of China’s provinces and regions including Tibet and Xinjiang, covering the rise of companies and entrepreneurs, manufacturing and migrants, demography and civil society. He has also reported from North Korea, Mongolia and Cambodia, on China’s growing economic and political influence. His recent reporting has focused on how legacy policies from China’s past, including its household registration system, are leading to growing inequality and social tension, and are holding back the country’s development.

The Myth of Chinese Capitalism: The Worker, the Factory, and the Future of the World, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2020. He has a BA from from Stanford and MIA from Columbia University.