Göran Leijonhufvud looks back at 50 years of covering China

The members of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai respectively had the unique opportunity of hearing a personal perspective on China from a Swede going back 50 years in time, from the well-known Swedish correspondent and researcher Göran Leijonhufvud (born 1941).

Goran-book-cover-ChinaOn three different dates in the end of March held presentation connecting to the recently published book (Nov 2014): his memoirs ‘Pioneer and veteran. 50 years with China’. The book is his interpretation of the Chinese community, the party and the system during the unimaginable changing period that followed the revolution in 1949.

The listeners could learn from Leijonhufvud about the internal political fights that have taken place over the years, the change of the Chinese people’s life and how the society has developed.

He has spent 50 years of his life covering China, and was the China correspondent of Dagens Nyheter (Daily News)for many years. He has been reporting on the country since the start of the Cultural Revolution.

As a young student he stepped off the transsiberian railway in Beijing and straight into the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. Back home, he learned Chinese and returned three years later as a journalist and he has continued to this day as a correspondent for the Daily News and then as a researcher in China.

In his new book he talks about how an isolated developing country became the world economy’s growth engine – and relates his own path from searching Maoist to critical observer. He has a unique, long perspective of the country, from the chaotic time during the ruling of Mao Zedong, to the current, tense situation between government and media.

Mr Leijonhufvud made his thesis work on the conditions for opposition in China BS received his doctorate in 1989 He later research local governance in the villages, and the Chinese Internet. He has written ten books about China. In 2008 he wrote the book ‘China – the lame colossus’.

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