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Hopes and Dreams from the Heartland: Who Are China’s Winners and Losers?

March 23, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

In all the hype about China’s economic success, how can we understand regular people, living regular lives?  Join us for a conversation about the winners and losers in China’s rapid economic growth with former NPR Shanghai Correspondent Frank Langfitt and Harvard Sociologist Xiang Zhou.  Langfitt will share insights from his latest book, The Shanghai Free Taxi: Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China and his interactions—many hilarious, many poignant—with a slew of everyday Chinese people.  What are the consequences of rising income inequality in the world’s most populous country and what drives modern Chinese hopes and dreams?  The conversation will be moderated by China Institute’s Nina Huang, a former journalist.

Speakers & Moderator:

Nina HUANG joined the China Institute as Business Program Manager in 2017. She manages the Institute’s business programs, annual Executive Summit, China-U.S. Philanthropy Dialogue, and the New Leaders Council, a new initiative that brings Chinese and American young philanthropists to work together on global issues. Prior to China Institute, Huang co-hosted the Nightly News at Sinovision and oversaw the production of its daily Noon News Show. She is a bilingual writer and has contributed to The Sixth Tone, The Diplomat, Glamour, Jing Daily, The Paper, and Caixin. Huang holds an M.A. in Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU.

Frank Langfitt is NPR’s London correspondent, covering Brexit, terrorism and other stories in Western Europe. Before coming to the United Kingdom, he spent a decade as a reporter in China, most recently as NPR’s correspondent in Shanghai, where he drove a free taxi around the city for a series on a changing China as seen through the eyes of ordinary people. Langfitt got the idea for the series from his experience decades earlier driving taxis in Philadelphia during summers home from college. The NPR radio series inspired his first book, “The Shanghai Free Taxi: Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China.”

In 2008, Langfitt covered the Beijing Olympics as a member of NPR’s team, which won an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. From 1997 to 2002, he was the Baltimore Sun’s Beijing correspondent, covering a swath of Asia from the Khyber Pass to East Timor. Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He lives outside London with his wife, Julie, and their two children. Follow him on Twitter @franklangfitt

Xiang ZHOU is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. He is also a faculty affiliate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. His research broadly concerns quantitative methodology, economic inequality and mobility, and contemporary Chinese society. His work has appeared in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Political Economy, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among other peer-reviewed journals. Before coming to Harvard, Zhou worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. He received a PhD in Sociology and Statistics from the University of Michigan in 2015.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department Of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


March 23, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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