I spent much of the summer of 1982 in Beijing. China was a very different place 30 years ago. Foreigners were rare, foreigners actually working in China for Chinese organizations were rarer still, and I was there to work. I was an editor at China Daily, the English language newspaper created for foreign visitors as a preferred alternative to allowing western publications into the country. The way I got the gig was simple: much of the reporting staff had been students of mine at Stanford the year before.
Once the decision was made to start China Daily, there was a need to find Chinese reporters who could write in English. Whoever was in charge decided it […]