China’s future has never been so difficult to predict. After a roller-coaster ride from Mao to market that has seen its economy grow to become the second largest in the world, dragging it into the political, diplomatic and military premier league, many in China are now debating where the country will go next. The turning point was the 2008 financial crisis. By hastening America’s decline, the crisis both boosted China’s power and raised questions about how much China could rely on Western consumption to drive its growth. As a result, the country finds itself at a crossroads, needing to rethink its economic, social and political models.
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'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.
'We have all twenty-nine of her Barsetshire novels, and whenever a certain longing reaches critical mass we read all twenty-nine again, straight through.'
Patricia T O'Conner on her love for Angela Thirkell. (£)