There are friends you just hang out with and have a great time. And there are friends who you both hang out with and learn a great deal from. Joshua Ramo is on the second group. Joshua to me is my "eyes and ears into Chinese culture." Joshua is American but speaks Mandarin and it is really through him that I got to know Beijing, from the big monuments to the little bar in the about to be demolished, or the phenomenal private art collection that is being shown for the first time.
Today I learned that Joshua has a new website. It is not a blog but a site in which you can find Joshua's writings. I strongly recommend the Beijing Consensus article that explains a new foreign policy platform by which we can see and learn from China, the great, the good, the bad and the ugly. In my last email exchange with Joshua he wrote something that I would like to quote,
"The opening ceremony on Friday is among the most important nights in modern Chinese history. For the first time, billions of people from around the world will be taking a really serious look at what the country is today and what it aspires to be. And Chinese themselves will be taking a pause in the middle of break-neck change to examine how much they've accomplished, lifting 400 million people out of poverty in 30 years for instance, and how much remains to be done".
Joshua Ramo will also be commenting the Olympics on NBC, not the sports but the socio-political realities behind the whole event. The first TODAY show is here, after the Andrea Mitchell piece.