Saturday, January 17, 2015

the last book I ever read (Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos, excerpt ten)

from 2014 National Book Award Winner for Nonfiction Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos:

In the years of the boom, people had picked up more reasons to fear the law than to trust it. Growing up at a time when law enforcement jobs were sometimes sold to the highest bidder, and judges were regularly available to be bribed, people were bound to be wary. When the China scholar Wang Zhengxu surveyed people in 2008, he found “significantly lower trust in the government and the Party among the post-reform citizens.” Police were single-minded in achieving convictions, and a series of cases was coming to light that suggested the consequences of haste. A man named She Xianglin served eleven years for the murder of his estranged wife—until she returned one day to visit her family. It turned out that she had moved to another province and remarried; the defendant, who had been tortured for ten days and ten nights into a false confession, was released in 2005. A study of Chinese attitudes published in the journal Science in 2013 found that young Chinese men and women were, in the researchers’ words, “less trusting, less trustworthy, more risk-averse, less competitive, more pessimistic, and less conscientious individuals.”

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