The year 2020 was marked by a series of rolling crises. The Australian wildfires at the start of the year were a catastrophic sign of the global climate crisis. Xi Jinping’s announcement in September that the People’s Republic of China would become carbon neutral by 2060 could help alleviate the crisis, but China has to fix its coal problem first. The big story was, of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic. China itself successfully suppressed the disease at home and recorded positive economic growth for the year — proving, at least according to the Chinese Communist Party, the ‘superiority of the socialist system’. Not everyone was convinced, with persistent questions about the CCP’s initial cover up of the outbreak, and how the lack of transparency helped it become a pandemic in the first place.
For this panel event, we are fortunate enough to be joined by three contributors to the Yearbook. In a similar fashion to the Yearbook’s survey of the multiple crises of the year of the Metal Rat, each panelist will bring a unique perspective to the crises faced by China in 2020.
Specifically, the panelists discussion will focus on:
- China’s Post-Covid-19 Stimulus: Dark Clouds, Green Lining (Dr. Jorrit Gosens); and
- The Dao of Crisis (Dr. Esther Klein)
Ari Heinrich is the author of The Afterlife of Images: Translating the Pathological Body Between China and the West (Duke, 2008) and Chinese Surplus: Biopolitical Aesthetics and the Medically Commodified Body (Duke, 2018). He is Professor of Chinese Literature and Media at the School of Culture, History and Language, ANU.
Esther Sunkyung Klein is a Lecturer in pre-modern Chinese studies at ANU, focusing on Chinese philosophy and historiography. Her book, Reading Sima Qian from Han to Song (2019), traces pre-modern Chinese attitudes toward authorship and the representation of historical events.
Jorrit Gosens received his PhD from RCEES, an institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU. He researches renewable energy transitions and innovation globally, including in China.