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Evan Osnos On China’s ‘Age Of Ambition’

The US accuses China’s military of industrial espionage. We’ll talk with the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos – longtime Beijing correspondent – about China’s “Age of Ambition.”

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, centre right, and China's President Xi Jinping, centre left, walk to open joint naval exercises, in Shanghai, China, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (AP)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, center right, and China’s President Xi Jinping, center left, walk to open joint naval exercises, in Shanghai, China, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (AP)

Plenty of news out of still-rising China lately.  Chinese leaders doing deals with Vladimir Putin as Putin defies the West.  Chinese sea power pushing an oil rig into waters claimed by Vietnam.  Chinese military on FBI wanted posters for hacking American companies’ intellectual property.  China’s unprecedented, light speed rise to wealth and growing power has the whole world’s attention.  New Yorker writer Evan Osnos is just back from eight years in China and out with a deep analysis of Chinese dreams and ambitions.  This hour On Point:  Deep China, with the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos.

– Tom Ashbrook


Evan Osnos, staff writer at the New Yorker. Author of the new book “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China.” (@eosnos)

From Tom’s Reading List

Reuters: China confronts U.S. envoy over cyber-spying accusations – “It was the first criminal hacking charge that the United States has filed against specific foreign officials, and follows a steady increase in public criticism and private confrontation, including at a summit last year between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.”

The Wall Street Journal: Book Review: ‘Age of Ambition’ by Evan Osnos – “If the book has a focus, it’s on the country’s enterprising youth and the extraordinary freedoms that the Internet has provided in a country where the Party, having opened up the economy and turned it into the world’s second biggest, still seeks to control the minds of China’s 1.3 billion inhabitants. The aim of China’s present rulers, apart from enriching themselves and their families, is to create a ‘harmonious society’—a nation without differences.”

POLITICO Magazine: Five Myths About China (That I’m Sorry I Helped Spread) – “Is China the world’s next great power or a political antique or an economic powder keg? The answer: Yes. China is so vast and contradictory – home to one-fifth of humanity, with an income gap wider than that between New York and Ghana — that we are tempted to simplify it by resorting to the archetypes that capture one side or another. Writing in China from 2005 to 2013, I’ve certainly done it.”

Read An Excerpt From “Age Of Ambition” By Evan Osnos

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  • Human2013

    Maybe China has it right. Maybe a democratic government is not the solution to the woes of humanity. Our democracy is stagnate, stale, gridlocked, bought and paid for failure.

    So the Chinese can’t freely browse the internet. Well half of our populace freely browses the internet only to reaffirm the thirty second TV ads that tell them corporations are benevolent, value added, job creating institutions. That social medicine will rob them of their jobs — the job they don’t or won’t have. That raising the minimum wage will surely ruin their future prospects instead of shifting wealth back to the majority.

    Maybe China realizes that people have too many frailties, susceptible to corrosive ideology and conform to whatever mold that comes their way.

    If feeding your family requires a work permit, I’m sure most Americans would gladly apply. Most importantly, China is well aware of the problems. that come from private land ownership (soon to be gated in America) – does the land belong to the people or the highest bidder? Do we really have a democracy or are we being bamboozled into thinking that we do? Meanwhile, China’s infrastructure moves into the 21st century, their people come to America and enjoy traveling while Americas toil long hours at work and live paycheck to paycheck.

    • Human2013

      China also brings in fresh young faces to their government while we have the oldest congress in the history of the world. They still think we should go to our neighbor for help, call the local doctor to stop by our home for a small fee, go to the local Church for dinner, and most importantly, marry, marry, marry and all your dreams will come true.

      • JGC

        On the left side of my screen there is an advertisement banner for wedding rings from jeweller in Concord, MA. “Marry and all your dreams will come true.”: Coincidence?

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          You need an ad blocker.

    • jefe68

      China has some of the worst air and water pollution problems in the world. Two to three day traffic gridlocks in it’s largest cities. Some of the worst labor practices of any developing nation which includes child labor violations.



      • Human2013

        Did you miss the seven year old tobacco pickers in NC suffering adverse reactions to the pesticides and resin or the rising incidents of tainted potable water.

        • adks12020

          If you think the environmental problems in this country, which certainly do exist, are even remotely comparable to those in China you are ignoring the evidence. How many cities in this country require masks to walk around? How many times has the federal government told people they need to stay inside to avoid air pollution in our large cities? How often do our rivers completely change to colors like red, blue and fluorescent green because of chemical dumping? Accidents certainly happen here, as does pollution in general, but we aren’t even in the same ballpark as China.

          • Human2013

            Why do we make these comparisons? To make ourselves feel better. Please remember there are just over 300 million people in the US while China has over a billion on a smaller land mass. Do you really think if we were working with the same figures, we would do any better. NOT likely.

        • jefe68

          And your point is what? That bad labor issues are also a problem in the US.
          So is human trafficking, pollution problems and host of other environmental and labor issues. The show is about China. You made what I think is an inane comment about how better the Chinese system is.

          • Human2013

            I was speaking specifically to the structure of government and the ownership of land. No, I don’t believe land should be owned by individuals just as a body of water should not be owned by an individual — it’s ridiculous. If you think that we are living in a democracy, you’re living in a fairy tale. It is what it is in China and we need to start calling it what it is in America — a straight up Oligarchy.

          • jefe68

            You don’t believe that individuals should own land? Well, you’re in the wrong country. The cornerstone of our nations legal system is based on individual property rights. That said I do agree we have become an oligarchy.
            As to me living in a fairytale, far from it pal.

          • Human2013

            So you find no connection to private property and the oligarchy, pale. Fairy tale!

          • jefe68

            Well, what I read in your comments is someone with some pretty weird ideas about property laws.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        This is absolutely key. Apparently, they have demolished well over 200 coal fired plants, but we do not know if these are just getting replaced wil rurally located coal plants, or with more wind turbines.

      • adks12020

        Add to that the fact that 1/5th of their arable land is contaminated with poisons like nickel, cadmium and arsenic and can no longer be planted without risk of birth defects and cancer…http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-27076645 . Seems to me they don’t have it right at all.

      • Jack Wang

        No one denies the huge problems in China. All industrialized countries encountered and overcame the problem of pollution, so will China. The point is, the lives in China are getting better everyday. Yes, they lack political freedom, but the majority in China doesn’t care about it; just see how many American participate in elections, only 10-15% in local election.

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction


    • nj_v2

      ^ Word soup, searching for a point.

      • Human2013

        My point: we have decrepit, archaic, disconnected leadership in the US.

        • Jon

          my diagnosis is the US has too many leaderships (fighting against each other)

  • Coastghost

    The Financial Times noted just last month that in 2013 China’s work-force participation declined for the first time, the beginning of a trend expected to continue for twenty years or so, with negative impacts on economic growth and productivity a surmised consequence. How pervasive are such structural weaknesses in the Chinese economy? Are they given too much weight or too little in conventional analyses?

    • Human2013

      We will have to wait and see if this happens. What we do know is the US middle class will exit right and not return thanks to our democratic values.

    • Ray in VT

      There are definitely some demographic issues that China is facing, such as the aging population and the lack of younger workers, as well as the gap between the number of men and women.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    China’s on top? Good. Now they can man the border in Afghanistan. Hint: take air conditioning, lots of cash, and bullet-proof long underwear. Remember: it’s the Sorrows of Empire thing.

  • creaker

    We’ve been talking about the future shifting of power and economic balances for decades – well, it’s here.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Indictment* filed in good ‘ol Pittsburgh, USA.

    * Charge: Chinese theft of US nuclear, steel secrets.

  • Jengliu

    The anger of the majority Chinese young generation is about to boil over. Without a virtual enemy to be blamed for all the dysfunctions, the current regime is on the verge of collapse. To find, to create, or to hype an military conflict is the only way out to its salvation.

    • Jon

      what do you expect after the collapse, a dysfunctional gov like the US?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Is China going to compete with Mother Nature re: Global Heating, sea level rise? Or will they first choke themselves to death?
    Breathe deep and Tai Chi. Mind the water.

    • spiral007

      Having read most of your comments in this segment, you seem to hold China to a different standard than say the USA (or West in general) at least when it comes to climate change. It is worth remembering that up to the current time

      the contribution of the west has been far higher than china…china is fast catching up and I wish there were better treaties to control this catastrophe to humanity.

      It was the US government (I think under Bush) that reneged on the climate change treaty that a previous president had signed. This tanked any chance of a treaty.

      The hypocrisy of the US is very well documented and clear on this topic.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    History is obviated by submarines. Time for Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, and Australia — to build some. Nuclear. Make it a final confrontation.

    You defeat a bully by kicking him to the ground before he’s ready to do the same to you. Then you keep kicking him till he stops struggling.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB
  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Headline: China slams indictments over cyber snooping.

    So which US president allowed China into the WTO? Since they’re only going to cheat, why let them join the civilized nations of the world? And which US government mandarin didn’t think through that?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Headline: Russia signs 30-year gas deal with China.

    China now doesn’t have to worry about its global trade hegemony. It’s going to be backstopped by Russian energy sources.

  • Human2013

    So the Chinese are seeking the truth: Who is running the country, what policies are being made, how does our economy function? Well, Americans are asking the same questions with no answers in sight and unlimited access the the internet.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We have New York City real estate that they want to control completely. And it seems, they’re well on their way to owning all those properties and that market.

    • M S

      Ha, ha…they’re building buildings specifically for them…like Arks. Anyway, don’t fret, NYC is not what it used to be. Now it’s full of shelving units for the dead and bad art…not to mention all of the Googlers et al.

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      That’s not because of China’s greatness but because of America’s complacency. If we would just institute BINARY economic policies already, and VALUE our native born citizens and their intellectual capital, we could EASILY beat China in business in the coming age. We consistently undervalue ourselves (as individuals), behave narcissistically, and fail to see the big picture. We are busy arguing amongst ourselves about petty politics instead of removing the glass ceiling and giving the poor a GENUINE socioeconomic ladder to climb.

  • Jim

    “should we be scared?”

    well well.. you would hope China and the chinese people have a short term memory. remember the opium war… the insistence of the American government to impoverish the Chinese people and got them hook with opiate? THe pillage of Chinese treasures by SEVEN (7) countries including the US and Great Britain is never forgotten.. treasures you see in Western Museum are stolen arts…

    In addition… very little war criminals from Japan were prosecuted, Thanks to the US and its forceful exoneration.

    What goes around comes around… including the stealing of Western trade secrets

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    In China: Coal = Electricity + Water pollution + Air pollution*. Will lung & heart disease kill them off faster than the economic growth will allow them to expand their populations overseas?

    * Exported to San Francisco and Seattle.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    China is a human export machine. When 1,000 Chinese take up residence in Antarctica, that won’t be a continent with research visitors. That will be China.

  • keruffle

    Under guise
    Of surprise
    China denies
    Spys rise.
    Size of prize
    Is demise,
    US wise
    To devise
    Which defies


  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    China = the end of mankind on earth. Let it be.

    • Jon

      don’t be. your rapture can happen any time before that

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        Or could traverse a stargate.

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction


  • X Y & Z

    China holds something like a trillion dollars worth of US debt. The US is not in a position to do much of anything to China, since China could dump its US Treasury bonds on the world market, which would crash the US dollar.

    • jefe68

      You forgot something. That trillion dollar figure includes Japan.

      China and Japan would be a foolish to dump the US Treasury bonds on the world market. It would have a devastating effect on their economies, so much so that one does not see this option as rational.

      • X Y & Z

        Dumping US Treasuries on the world market would not be a first strike option for China, more like the nuclear option, but that option is still on the table.

        • jefe68

          You do realize that it would hurt China as much as the US if not more, right?
          Nice hand wringing though.

          • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

            It would hurt China MUCH MORE. The US has leverage over the global money supply through the IMF.

            All we have to do is release a statement saying we “found” a huge cache of confederate gold somewhere, and that it was transferred to the treasury.

            Then the FED can quantitatively ease its way out of any problem. The power of BELIEF.

            The U.S. has a stranglehold over the world’s banking system, right or wrong.

            Bitcoin is the great equalizer.

      • spiral007

        I agree that the sudden dumping will not happen, but a slow reduction will happen and may already be happening. The FED has been forced to buy the treasuries for a number of years, it is busy monitizing US debt to try and insulate the dollar. Will it be successful in the long run is not clear.

    • hennorama

      X Y & Z — Foolish and simplistic, like virtually all of your posts.

      F Y & I:

      Under Pres. Bush II, this was the growth of two of the MAJOR FOREIGN HOLDERS OF TREASURY SECURITIES

      China’s holdings grew by more than 1100 percent, from $61.5 Billion (Jan 2001) to $739.6 B (Jan 2009)

      Japan’s holdings grew by more than 100 percent, from $312.3 Billion (Jan 2001) to $634.8 B (Jan 2009)

      So far, under Pres. Obama:

      China’s holdings grew by more than 70 percent, from $739.6 B (Jan 2009) to $1272.1 Billion (Mar 2014)

      Japan’s holdings grew by nearly 90 percent, from $634.8 B (Jan 2009) to $1200.2 Billion (Mar 2014)



    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      Please stop posting on this forum. You have the IQ of a 14 year old. Your ignorance only serves to mislead other ignorant people.

  • Jessica

    I am from Taiwan and studied Chinese history pretty thorough in my school years, so I guess i understand Chinese better than many American friends probably including the guest speaker Evan Osnos. I can say Chinese always have the ambition just like all other people in the world – maybe even more because of that splendid history. The only difference is that they were not used to show it out due to the traditional culture value and they didn’t have the chance to pursue it due to the bad living environment caused by communism.

    I think USA and all other countries should stay alert because no mater how well China is doing in economics, its political system is still communism. The skyscrapers and highways can be built in no time, but mind sets and values take time to change. There is a question we all shall ask ourselves: Does economics deserve to be a priority above all other things including politics, living environments, religions, etc?

    About that Taiwanese general (who swam to China seeking political protection and believed China would rise one day) the guest speaker mentioned in the show. Please keep in mind of two facts: in 1971, Taiwan lost its seat in United Nations to People’s Republic of China, and the year he swam to China (1979) was the same year that many Taiwanese were put in jail because of fighting for independence and democracy in Taiwan. I can only say everybody has different values to peruse. Some admire freedom while others believe in nationalism more than other things.

    I also disagree that the guest speaker thinks Chinese admire American education systems. Don’t put an equivalent mark between Studying in USA and liking. We have an old Chinese saying: ” Both understanding yourself and understanding your enemy can make you undefeated.” If Chinese leaders’ offspring admired American education, then the first thing they would learn and spread should be freedom and democracy, wouldn’t they? Oppositely, Those are the two things Chinese leaders worry and fear most. (I truly believe freedom and democracy are two most valuable heritages of American culture. If you disagree only because they are like air to you since you are born.) In my point of view, what many Chinese admire are the fame of American universities and the comfort of American living environment. Fame and money are most people’s dreams now, nobody would say it’s wrong to pursue them – the only two questions here are how far are we willing to go to get them? how much are we willing to lose to get them?

    There is one more thing I would like to correct is about the south China sea incident the host mentioned in the beginning of the show. The factories the Vietnamese burned are most Taiwanese factories because they think Taiwan is part of China (Which Is Not True) and Those factories use Chinese workers. I’ve lived in the states for 17 years now and paid quite some efforts trying understanding American values and cultures. After doing so, i sometimes really wish American friends can learn more about other parts of the world like we learn about you, not only appearance, but different respects with an open mind. It can not only promote better understanding at each other, but better protection for our peaceful minds and a peaceful world. Don’t you think?

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      Thank you for your beautifully articulated and thoughtful comment, Jessica. Really made me think.

    • JustEdith

      They should have YOU on the show. Yours is the best comment on the entire board.

  • X Y & Z

    You bring up some valid points, the problem is that much of the world is flush with dollars and they are looking for alternative currencies. China, Russia, India, Iran, conduct most of their international trade, NOT in US dollars. The strength and demand for US dollars is due to the fact that it has been the world’s reserve currency. What’s going to happen when the rest of the world gets fed up with all the Quantitative Easing (money printing) that the Fed has been doing, which has weakened the dollar?


  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    Neighboring countries would be wise to ally themselves with India.

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    If we (the U.S.) want to beat china economically we need more or less “Binary” economic policies and “Left-Libertarian” reform.

    1. Tax Incentives for cooperative corporations, employee owned firms and profit sharing plans.

    2. Repeal corporate personhood.

    3. Institute REAL sovereign citizenship.

    4. Return to Sound Money. (or at least lie and say we found a HUGE cache of confederate gold and the treasury has taken possession of it.)

    5. Institute a national sales tax.

    6. Create a sliding income tax from 1% to 20%.

    7. Make business education mandatory in school.

    8. Raise the minimum wage to $12.00

    9. Lower the corporate tax rate.

    10. Require the central bank to issue Binary business loans requiring no credit or collateral, only proof of business education and a sound business plan for loan approval.

    11. Put a cap on the total amount any super-pac or campaign CAN SPEND on their candidate or their party during a campaign, while keeping donations unlimited as a form of free speech.

  • marygrav

    The history of the US is just as bloody as China’s, particualy post-WWII when it practice of neocolonialism re-colonized Latin America, Africa, and
    How did we get the secret of making china. It was through economic espinage. Americans have to get over the fact that their existance does not make the world go round.

    China, as Jean Gimpel explained in The End of the Future (1995) would rise to her former glory because the West would cause another financial crash through its greed.

    Why do we need to talk about Tiamen Square when we have not yet delt with Jackson State and Kent State. These 3 acts of Civil Disobeience brought death to students. It is hypocritical to single out China’s government when the US government is just as oppressive or more so.

    the entire Third World though it Cold War policies. In its acts of attempting to crush Communism, the US opperssed peoples whose only desire was to be free of their European Colonial Masters now calling itself the International Community. Old Wolves in new sheep’s clothing.

    Only Madaline Albright believes that the US is the indespensible nation. If it is indespensible it is because it has supported every dictator that now makes life hell in Africa. If the people complained it was because they were Communist then; Jihadist or Islamist now.

    The world won’t end if China or any other so-called Developing nation will not such up to US and our Exceptionalism. I am a Capitalist by nature and as long as China or whoever wants to spend or park their money hear, they can be Devil worshipers if they choose, and I won’t try to Christianize them into an American image.

    Get over it essentialism has always been an American myth. I think I’ll try to swin to the China Mainland too. It down the stree at the University of Iowa main campus.

    • Arkuy The Great

      Post WW2 China’s death toll from state-sponsored violence (from the Revolution to Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution) is in the range of 50 million. Just where do you get this assertion of “the US is just as bloody”?

  • X Y & Z

    Lot of good points there, my main point is that the US needs to very careful in how it deals with China. The US can’t afford to have China dump US bonds on the world market, and the US needs China to continue buying US bonds as well.

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      Not really. Please don’t make me explain. Just know – you’re wrong.

      • X Y & Z

        I don’t ever want to hear you explain anything.

        • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

          Of course. You prefer to remain ignorant.

          • X Y & Z

            The only thing I want to be ignorant of is you.

          • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

            lol. You say the sweetest things!

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    After considering this issue in depth, I now see it differently. I view the indictments by the U.S. as a friendly gesture toward China…

    Bear with me… Setting a precedent of litigation would establish a new level of partnership between the U.S. and China, a partnership that is comfortable enough to deal with issues through the legal system rather than threats of war, black ops, cold war, etc. (the way the U.S. and Russia have historically gotten along)

    The two most powerful nations need to have some kind of cooperation. And this is an invitation to do that. It also allows China to litigate in the future.

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    I don’t want the wealth of others. I want to make my OWN wealth. More wealth is exponential because spending, borrowing and investing create wealth.

    We need a REAL socioeconomic ladder. We need Binary Economics.

  • Judi Samuels Meirowitz Tischle

    During the Gilded Age in the US there were great philanthropic projects begun for the benefit of the general population
    We are still enjoying these gifts in our own time and a precedent was set for others who amass great wealth to consider giving back in this way.
    Is this happening in China today?
    Judi social worker

  • Sawyer

    The book has very proper title: Age of Ambition. Ambition is all China has since it opened its market to the world. Ambition for money, ambition for power. Yet in my view, the ambition has been built on lawlessness, selfishness, materialism. The morality level of the society is in historical low. More than 50% of the society essentially is bottomless in order to seek fortune, to grab power. Seeking for meaning of life/religious belief? Maybe the already rich ones do. But the majority of the people is still in hunger of money, therefore going to temples is to pray for more money and more power. The definition of happiness is to be rich, have more ‘things’(expensive so-called luxuries) than all other people around me.

    If you listen to the media in China nowadays, blaming US on all the territorial dispute, nationalism against Japan/Philippine/Vietnam including the US, belittling the US on foreign policies, admiring Putin’s harsh gesture towards the West are the major themes. It is a country believing in power and power only, even though they say they want to rise peacefully. What it really wants is a peaceful period to solidify its position of #1 in the world.

    I am deeply worried watching those elated faces of scholars when they talk about China being No 1 economic power, or listening to those harsh hatred words against its neighboring countries, or reading comments on Chinese internet about NSA surveillance while knowing thousands of comments of different view disappear mysteriously the minute they were published. How do you deal with a country that is bottomless?

    I wish the Americans are not naive enough to believe that China is going to play fair and friendly with the US. I hope the Americans can best use its democratic system to enhance
    its power and position in the world, instead of stagnating its own advance.

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      These indictments are a litmus test by the U.S. to see where China really stands.

      Once the test is complete, either we will establish a new level of cooperation with China, or the incomparable machine of American nationalism will kick in.

      Hopefully, both sides will proceed delicately.

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    People can say whatever they want in America. It’s how they blow off steam.

    The news stories themselves are rigged or they are sensationalizing what gets ratings.

    The common people have a whole variety of opinions.

    No one is forcing you to watch or read American media.

    Just look what happened to Hong Kong news media.

    They used to have free speech. Now they are censored by China.

  • X Y & Z

    Interesting perspectives, I think that the US should stop promoting coups. The US supported coups in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and Ukraine have been disasters for those countries.

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    It’s ambition, pride and Hubris. America set the precedent.

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    I DO hope the United States has analysts working on our future.
    I like Silicon Valley, but if we leave it to them who knows what the future will look like.

  • Sawyer

    99% of US media is negative about China? Do you really watch/listen to US media? If you really pay attention to media in both countries and don’t realize the difference, I have nothing else to say. In terms of foreign policies, 99% of Chinese media blames the US for frictions between China and its neighboring countries, 99% of American media either don’t care or blame Obama’s policies.

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, right, speaks with Ady Barkan of the Center for Popular Democracy as she arrives for a dinner during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.  (AP)

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