The fact of the matter is neither is the U.S.! Much less Britain (or for that matter almost any other country). Even so, the ‘Lunch with the Financial Times’ conversation between Chinese novelist Han Han (Triple Door) and FT ‘s Asia editor and columnist David Pilling is suitably entertaining and wholly informing. The boyish Han Han, interviewed in a Shanghai cafe recently, is a genuine half-crazy character: a very popular writer who worries intelligently about the moral fiber of China’s cascading consumerism while bouncing around in fancy sports cars. While discussing the Bo Xilai mystery and other hot issues, Pilling nails the Chinese novelist’s main political point with his usual pellucid clarity: China needs reform not revolt. This illuminating conversation appears in this weekend’s edition (April 21/22) of the FT, which, if you are interested in Asia, covers and comments on the world’s rapidly rising region consistently better than any other English-language daily.

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