Wed, Mar 06, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Critic of `China fever' to visit Taiwan

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Gordon Chang (章家敦), author of the controversial book entitled The Coming Collapse of China, will arrive in Taipei tomorrow for a six-day visit, culminating in what observers say will be an opportunity to scale down Taiwan's "China fever."

"In Taiwan the business community, opposition parties and the media still have a great craving for China. Gordon Chang, who has spent almost 20 years doing business in Shanghai, understands the economic, social and political situation in China very well," said veteran DPP legislator Parris Chang (張旭成).

"He will be able to provide a different kind of perspective" to make those who are crazy about investing in China "think twice," the lawmaker said.

Gordon Chang will arrive tomorrow night at the invitation of Ars Longa Press, Ltd (雅言文化出版股份有限公司), a newly established publishing company that is sche-duled to publish the Chinese version of Chang's book.

On Friday morning, the 50-year-old Chinese American will attend a public reading from his book at the Legislative Yuan.

In the afternoon, he will attend a round table discussion of his work with scholars from National Chengchi University, sources said.

The highlight of his visit would be a dialogue with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in the Far Eastern Hotel at 10:30 am on Saturday.

At 7:30pm on Sunday, Chang will deliver his only public speech of the visit at the Eslite bookstore in Tunghua South Road, sources said.

In his book Chang gives an alarming analysis of China's economic, social and political weak-nesses -- and the inability of the Chinese Communist Party to solve its mounting problems. He went so far as to predict that China's communist regime will collapse in five or ten years.

"Peer beneath the surface, and there is a weak China. The symptoms of decay are to be seen everywhere," Chang wrote in the book, which was first published in 2001.

Critics of the book, however, dubbed Chang, former counsel at an American law firm in Shanghai and freelance journalist with the New York Times, the Asian Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, as a China-basher.

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