During my adolescence, I discovered China, fascinated, like many, by the Cultural Revolution which I thought was doomed to human flourishing and the rehabilitation of the communist ideal undermined by Stalinist horror. When, a few years later, I realized the true nature of what had ultimately been a showcase for an oppressive regime, my attachment to China, its cultural richness and its people remained deeply rooted in me.

Through my professional research activities, I was lucky enough to be able to visit China in 1982 at a time when the new policy known as the open door to foreign capital and technologies had just been initiated. The China that I was able to discover then was not yet marked by international influence and market economy; and it was a profound change that I was able to witness during my subsequent trips, already in 1986, in 2001, then quite recently in 2018.

A change that seems to upset the cultural base of this great civilization in favor of internationalization and economic dynamism which also has its setbacks in human terms. Many tell me that I had the chance to know China before this great turning point. This is absolutely true and my deep attachment to this country and these people is probably stronger than if I had only discovered China today.

This is simply what I would like to share in this series and more in this book.


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