Danish Nils Thostrup has held several important positions in the newspaper world, and his great interest in China has resulted in a handful of books. On July 20, he turns 85 years old, and in a recent article, JydskeVestkysten writes about his career, his interest in China, and how his views on the country have changed over the years.
Nils Thostrup began his lifelong affair with journalism in 1953, when he graduated from Svendborg Avis. After that, he worked for a few local newspapers including Fyens Stiftstidende and Aalborg Amtstidende before moving to the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. Nils Thostrup stayed at Jyllands-Posten for 26 years with changing titles and areas of responsibility and ended in the top positions as director and editor-in-chief, a position he held until 1992.
According to JydskeVestkysten, his departure from Jyllands-Posten was reportedly not happy but soon after Nils Thostrup was appointed as editor-in-chief and foreign editor at Berlingske in Copenhagen. The following year he became editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper JydskeVestkysten and Nils Thostrup ended his time at the newspaper in 1999.
Besides the world of newspapers, one of Nils Thostrup’s long-standing interests in China, a country he first visited in 1974 accompanied by the Danish Prime Minister at the time Poul Hartling.
Since his first trip, Nils Thostrup has visited China over 30 times and he has written several books about the country including “China Behind the Mirror – An Account of Modern China” from 2002.
In the book, Nils Thostrup advocates greater openness and more dialogue with China but developments since then have disappointed him and to media Ritzau he writes, “I once thought that China would politically evolve towards the autocratic republic of Singapore: One-party government, with more and more extended democratic rights. I was confident under the previous Chinese President, Hu Jintao, but have similarly been disappointed with developments in Xi Jinping’s years in power. It’s black and sad,” Nils Thostrup says.