Over the past two months, as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has rapidly rolled back its strict zero-COVID epidemic prevention policy, COVID-19 has spread rapidly throughout the country. The combination of the PRC reopening its borders to outbound travel on January 8 and the ongoing pandemic has put countries that are major travel destinations for Chinese nationals in a bind. Governments have responded differently to the situation, with some imposing testing and quarantine requirements and others declining to do so. In China, official and social media have generally lauded countries that have desisted from testing requirements and opened their doors to Chinese tourists. Thailand, in particular, has been widely celebrated. Not only did Thailand decline to impose testing requirements on inbound travelers from the PRC, but several senior Thai government ministers went to the airport to welcome the first planeload of Chinese tourists following the lifting of travel restrictions on January 8 (Guangming Daily, January 17). Scenes of smiling Thai officials and airport workers greeting the first group of arriving tourists circulated widely in Chinese media.
Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
Working for the administration remains one of the most coveted career paths for young Chinese. Rejuvenating Communism: Youth Organizations and Elite Renewal in Post-Mao China seeks to understand what motivates young and educated Chinese to commit to a long-term career in the party-state and how this question is central to the Chinese regime’s ability to maintain its cohesion and survive. Jérôme Doyon draws upon extensive fieldwork and statistical analysis in order to illuminate the undogmatic commitment recruitment techniques and other methods the state has taken to develop a diffuse allegiance to the party-state in the post-Mao era. He then analyzes recruitment and political professionalization in the Communist Party’s youth organizations and shows how experiences in the Chinese Communist Youth League transform recruits and feed their political commitment as they are gradually inducted into the world of officials. As the first in-depth study of the Communist Youth League’s role in recruitment, this book challenges the assumption that merit is the main criteria for advancement within the party-state, an argument with deep implications for understanding Chinese politics today.