Business & Technology

Anne Stevenson-Yang

The China bear’s China bear.

Co-founder, J Capital Research

Decades ago, as a high school student, Anne Stevenson-Yang carried a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. Now, after about 25 years in China, the former journalist and economist finds herself deeply disillusioned. Fluent in Chinese and with a roster of government and private contacts that allow her to keep a finger on the nation’s pulse, Stevenson-Yang is frequently sought by media types searching for on-the-ground perspectives on the nitty-gritty of the country’s sometimes opaque economy, from currency policy to capital flight to the collapse of real estate developers. She believes that endemic corruption and fraud, growing wealth inequality, and the lawlessness of the elite have hollowed China from the inside out; that massive levels of bad debt threaten to derail the economy; and that China’s leadership is desperate to prevent disaster. President Donald Trump has cast the East Asian giant as a super-competitor cheating the United States out of money and power. But from Beijing’s perspective, Stevenson-Yang told NPR, “The image is water building up behind a very thin retaining wall and in danger of spilling over.”

(Photo credit: CSIS)

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