Chinese Whispers

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A corrective to Western assumptions about modern China

The Chinese are the most hardworking people on earth—so why are the younger generation derided as spoiled and lazy? Chinese people don't care about political freedom—so why is the country's internet exploding with anti-regime dissent? China will one day rule the world—so why do the country's political leaders feel so insecure? Perhaps it is time to stop engaging in a centuries-old game of Chinese whispers in which the facts have become more and more distorted in the telling. Ben Chu examines the myths that have come to dominate our view of the world's most populous nation, forcing us to question everything we thought we knew about it. The result is a penetrating, surprising, and provocative insight into China today.


Ben Chu is the economics editor of the Independent.


"Chu's smart, iconoclastic portrait dismantles seven misconceptions—or 'whispers'—to let in light on a heterogeneous nation about which it is impossible to generalise."  —New Statesman