Westerners generally have a hard time keeping track of Chinese intellectuals -- essayists, academics, philosophers, government officials, journalists, novelists. Leonard has come up with an ingenious solution: he has drafted a dramatis personae that consists of one-paragraph introductions to China's leading thinkers -- and collectively they provide answers to the question of what China thinks. The Chinese experience with Maoism and Dengism has produced a leadership community that still attaches importance to ideological positions, but at the same time there is tolerance for a degree of diversity. Enough Chinese scholars have studied at Western universities that the culture of free-thinking academics is understood at Chinese universities.
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