Former Beijing correspondent for the New York Times, Edward Wong, has written an exceptional piece about China today. In part, he says, “From trade to the internet, from higher education to Hollywood, China is shaping the world in ways that people have only begun to grasp. Yet the emerging imperium is more a result of the Communist Party’s exercise of hard power, including economic coercion, than the product of a gravitational pull of Chinese ideas or contemporary culture.”
I’m particularly pleased that Wong was a recipient of a 1998 David Schweisberg scholarship from the Overseas Press Club foundation, of which I am president. Our program has helped launch the careers of many fine young journalists–Ben Hubbard, Ben Taub, Paul Sonne, Eva Dou, Katie Paul, Wei Ling-ling, to name a few.
It’s particularly fitting that Wong won the Schweisberg scholarship because Dave, who I worked with in Hong Kong, became chief of the Beijing bureau for UPI, a position I held in 1981-1982. He died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 39 while playing squash. All of us at the foundation are touched that we helped launch Ed Wong, who has become an important voice on issues that Dave was passionate about and that I remain engaged in as well.