Three of The Current
James Palmer - Game Changer
On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong declared the birth of the People's Republic of China ... a country which has undergone some incredible tectonic shifts politically and socially in the six decades since Mao's revolution. And if any country could be called a global game changer over the past 35 years, it would be China.
After decades of poverty and turmoil, in which millions of people died from famine or political violence, China has become the world's factory ... an economic and geopolitical juggernaut poised to become the world's biggest economy within the next decade.
The game really changed for China in 1976… a year that saw the death of Chairman Mao and the Tangshan earthquake. It ranks among the very worst disasters of modern times. Beijing-based journalist James Palmer has written an account of the events of 1976 in China in his new book, Heaven Cracks Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China. James Palmer joined me from our London studio.
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