Now, I understand the author is close to him, so I aim to be respectful, but there were moments when I felt the piece echoed sentiments that is rather out of touch.
I agree with the author that politicians should be practical and well-versed in their dealings. In viewing of this, a diplomatic trip to Beijing might indeed be productive.
However, certain points in support of this stance struck me as questionable. For instance, the author’s claim that Beijing’s air quality improved mainly due to relocating steel plants seemed oversimplified. A conversation with Hebei locals might offer a more rounded perspective.
Qin Hui has been my favorite scholar since many years ago. I think he is among the small group of Chinese contemporary scholars who are actually presentable on a global stage. Recently I had the chance to listen to his lecture series My View on Karl Marx. It was fascinating. I translated a small excerpt from the last episode into English, so my western friends can have glimpse of it.
Towards the end of the Q&A session, someone asked Mr. Qin: