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Live On Stage
Tuesday May 28 2024, 7pm BST

Pulling Back the Curtain on Modern China with Yuan Yang and Gideon Rachman

Politics &

The China that most Westerners think they know is an intimidating, authoritarian nation with a yearning to conquer Taiwan and dominate the global economy. But what is often lost in this story of China is the humans at the heart of this rising superpower. 

On May 28, journalists Yuan Yang and Gideon Rachman come to Intelligence Squared to paint a richer portrait of modern China and the lives of its people. Drawing from Yang’s new book Private Revolutions they will tell the stories of the villagers working tirelessly on factory floors to create the phones and electronics we use in the West; the young people quitting their jobs in the city to seek a slower pace of life in the countryside; and the dissidents risking everything to change their country’s politics. 

There is arguably no one better than Yang to tell these stories. She has recently returned to the UK from China after years working for the Financial Times as the newspaper’s deputy Beijing Bureau Chief and first Europe-China correspondent. Throughout that time she gained a reputation as one of the most sensitive and acute chroniclers of contemporary China working today.

Join the discussion at the Tabernacle as Yang and Rachman pull back the curtain on contemporary China and offers unique insight into the country that will likely dominate the twenty-first century.

Praise for Private Revolutions

“A revelatory, moving and tender tale of hopes, fears and change. A real eye-opener about life in contemporary China.” Peter Frankopan

“Yang provides a fascinating portrait of womanhood and society in a rapidly evolving – and increasingly repressive – global superpower.” Waterstones

“A landmark work.” Felix Martin

Private Revolutions: Coming of Age in a New China
by Yuan Yang




Yuan Yang

Writer and China expert

The Financial Times' first Europe-China correspondent; after the mass expulsion of journalists from China in 2020, she was one of the few journalists writing in English left in the country. During her time at the FT, she also served as deputy Beijing bureau chief, and covered China's tech sector and economy. She has since moved into politics, standing as Labour's parliamentary candidate for Earley and Woodley. She is co-founder of the campaign, Rethinking Economics, that calls for a more relevant curriculum that reflects the real world.

Gideon Rachman

Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator for the Financial Times

Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator for the Financial Times. He joined the FT in 2006, after 15 years at The Economist, where he served as a correspondent in Washington D.C., Brussels, and Bangkok. In 2016, Rachman won the Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political journalism. He has written a number of books including Zero Sum World, Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline From Obama to Trump and Beyond, and The Age of Strongmen.