China’s Heart of Darkness


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Prince Han Fei, or Hán Fēizǐ 韓非子, is perhaps the most influential Chinese thinker that many Westerners have never heard of. With Jeremy hosting Sinica this week, we bring to you a conversation recorded in November 2020 featuring writer and journalist Zhā Jiànyīng 查建英 and Geremie R. Barmé, editor of China Heritage. The three discuss the overlooked salience of the words of Han Fei in understanding modern China, the concept of legalism and its relation to the contemporary interpretation of fazhi (法治 fǎzhì), or rule of law, and the churn of being caught between the United States and China as relations between the two great powers continue to sour.