One Saturday evening in late January, I sat down for a quiet dinner with a small group of friends who have been back and forth to China many times since the 1970s. Each is deeply knowledgeable about China and fluent in Mandarin. None of them is what you would normally think of as being “hawkish” and none is “anti-Chinese”. On the contrary, though my affinity with them is rooted in their never having been apologists for Mao Zedong, my regard for them has been strengthened over the years by the fact that they clearly, each in his or her own…
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