Evan Osnos

(Evan Lionel Richard Osnos)

Evan Osnos
Evan Osnos
  • Born: December 24, 1976
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Journalist

92

Quotes

1

Citations

16

Concepts

0

Videos

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
30 years after China embarked on its fitful embrace of the free market, it has no single unifying doctrine—no ‘central melody’—and there is nothing predestined about what kind of country it is becoming. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Capitalism
'419 scams,' named for a clause from the Nigerian penal code, are such a part of the white noise of the digital age that we no longer notice them.
A generation ago, American war planners made the mistake of believing that short-term Communist sympathies would unite China and Vietnam. We were wrong, and it tragically misshaped our policy in Vietnam. War & Peace
Although Shanghai is on the sea, it long lacked the prosperity that Hong Kong enjoyed, so while Hong Kong became known for its exotic ocean creatures, Shanghai built its diet around more commonplace river and sea fish.
Analysts, scholars, business people, diplomats, and journalists involved with China spend so much time questioning one another's biases and loyalties that they have even settled on two opposing categories: 'panda huggers' versus 'panda sluggers.' Time ;Business, Commerce & Finance
As a student in Beijing in 1996, I sometimes marveled at the sheer obscurity of the movies that somehow made it onto pirated discs in China. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
At the age of eighty, the Dalai Lama has begun to discuss a range of prospects for the future disposition of his soul. Traditionally, after he dies, a search party of senior monks would set out to locate his new incarnation, who is most often a boy toddler, who goes on to be trained as a monk and a leader. Future
Beijing has a glut of charming and traditional or brash and luxurious places to stay.
Being in a Chinese coal mine for 30 years is like an epic novel. It's tragic.
By 1979, Chinese people were poorer, on average, than North Koreans. I mean, your average per-capita income in China that year was one third of sub-Saharan Africa's.
By the Nineties, so many people were moonlighting and creating their own professional identities that China generated a brisk new business in the printing of business cards. Business, Commerce & Finance
China believes that it has the rightful claim to a vast portion of the South China Sea, which is claimed by other countries.
China doesn't have a single leader. It has - a first among equals is the president, and his name will probably be Xi Jinping, almost certainly.
China is so central to our economic lives that journalists have had no choice but to engage China with greater technical analysis and precision.
China no longer has an ideology that makes any sense to them, but what they do have is great pride in the Chinese nation.
China's Communist Party is wary of independent-minded movements.
Chinese readers are buying books in translation, particularly non-fiction about China, in large numbers.
Christianity is permitted under China's constitution, and the government has long supported a network of official Christian churches. Government
Confucius - or Kongzi, which means Master Kong - was not born to power, but his idiosyncrasies and ideas made him the Zelig of the Chinese classics. Power
Confucius, who was born in the sixth century B.C., traditionally had a stature in China akin to that of Socrates in the West.
Deng Xiaoping made a calculation. He bet on demographics. What he knew was that China had this enormous population of young, underemployed people, people who he could move from the farms to the coast and put them to work in factories, and that would be the lifeblood of China's economy. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Disclosure and transparency are the currency of the Internet, and they are at odds with authoritarianism.
Donald Trump has a mantra of despair, of loss. He says we don't have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don't. And he says the American dream is dead.
Fact-checking can wreak havoc on Chinese political mythology.
For all that we can see from the road in China, there is a lot that we cannot see. We miss what's behind the trees, the cover-ups, the darker side of things - the ingredients that so often drive a reporting trip.
For much of their history, life for most people in China was arduous and circumscribed - and people travelled as little as they could. Life ;History
For my book, 'Age of Ambition,' I spent time documenting, among other things, the trials of young Chinese strivers who are bombarded by pressures unlike those that their parents faced. Time
For years, American officials visiting China marvelled at how Chinese leaders could push through infrastructure projects and sweeping legislative changes without the complications of opposition and the niceties of voting.
For years, China expected foreign companies not to publicly voice their complaints about hacking or intellectual-property violations in order to protect their broader interests in the country.
I can tell you, going out to buy toilet paper in the U.S. is a completely predictable experience.
I didn't expect to find much visible trace of the American war in Vietnam. The Vietnamese are too hard-bitten to dwell on it, and they've sanded away all but the outcroppings of history - the museums, the memorials. History ;War & Peace
I spent years overseas. I spent 11 years abroad.
I started working as a reporter in Washington on October 1, 2013, the day the government stopped working. Government
I think there's a tendency, and it's an understandable tendency, to imagine that China makes decisions out of a grand strategy. The reality is that I think China today is operating, most of all, based on its domestic needs.
If one is going to plagiarize, it pays to be in politics, where the expectation for remorse and the likelihood of punishment are minimal. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If the economy can only provide a diminishing political dividend, Chinese leaders will encourage their people to feel pride and vigor in other ways.
If you go back all the way to the 1920s, filmmakers in Hollywood changed the identity of villains from German to Russian.
If you're going to have a book published in China, that means that you're going to be subject to in-house censorship at the publisher, and then also, of course, the government has an apparatus that is in charge of making sure that ideas that are considered disruptive or overly critical, that those don't get onto bookstore shelves. Government
If you're trying to write about what the Chinese people are talking about, you can sometimes get a distorted picture if you go online and look at the conversation on social media.
Immigration, of course, in New Hampshire is - it's not something that you see every day. It's not like talking about it in Texas, where people have a much more explicit sense of it.
In 1975, the collapse of a cascade of Chinese dams during a flood killed a hundred and seventy-one thousand people, but the event is rarely discussed, and the names of the victims are largely unrecorded today.
In 2007, as a condition for hosting the Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government removed restrictions barring Beijing-based journalists from leaving the capital without prior written permission. Government
In a city that worships the new and the sleek, the street market at Da Jing Road is willfully out of step. It is a splendid jumble of centuries, full of sizzling pot stickers and bleating cell phones, pungent rice wine and bullfrogs as plump as softballs.
In Beijing, the joke among hacks is that, after the drive in from the airport, you are ready to write a column; after a month, you feel the stirrings of an idea-book; but after a year, you struggle to write anything at all, because you've finally discovered just how much you don't know.
In Beijing, we talk about air purifiers the way that teenage boys talk about cars.
In China, inaugurations are frequent affairs, though they have nothing to do with presidents. A news cycle rarely passes without some fanfare over the inaugural ride on a new subway line or the inaugural trip across an unusually large bridge.
In Chinese, there are an impressive number of ways to describe saying nothing at all.
In my fifth year in Beijing, I moved into a one-story brick house beside the Confucius Temple, a seven-hundred-year-old shrine to China's most important philosopher.
In the final years of his life, when former Communist Party Chief Zhao Ziyang lived under house arrest, in Beijing, his aging friends resorted to donning white doctors' coats in order to slip past the guards stationed outside his home. Life
It can take the uninitiated a minute to realize that 'Gangnam Style' is satire.
It's worth being clear - you know, I think that the ideas that somebody like Richard Spencer endorses and that other members of the self-identified white nationalist groups endorse - those ideas really are repellent to most people.
I've been amazed at how fast and herd-like opinions in the United States are.
Lei Feng is reported to have died in a freak accident in 1962 - struck by a falling telephone pole.
Like most markets, Da Jing is most alive just after dawn, when the elementary-school children in their uniforms and bright red kerchiefs set off through narrow streets, marking the start of another frenzied day of commerce.
Living abroad has heightened my interest in how foreigners regard the strange places we encounter.
Living in Beijing, writing about politically sensitive things now and then, you get used to the idea that somebody, somewhere, might be watching. But it is usually an abstract threat.
More than four decades after Nixon met Mao, the relationship between the U.S. and China has reached a pivotal moment. To date, even as China has become more powerful and present in our lives, Americans have generally found it to be an unsatisfying 'enemy.'
On some level, there's a limit to what the government really worries about when it comes to a guy like Ai Weiwei, who's talking to a limited audience of people. He's talking to people who more or less already agree with him. Government
Once I became interested in China, I flew to Beijing in 1996 to spend half a year studying Mandarin. The city stunned me.
Over the centuries, Chinese bureaucrats perfected the dark arts of emptiness to such an extent that when they deliver speeches these days, they often recite verbatim speeches that they have previously delivered, with the sparest of adjustments.
Political prodigies are rare in a nation that grooms top leaders through decades of Communist Party road-testing and pageantry. And because Chairman Mao's cult of personality led the country into extremism, the Party spent the next three decades engineering its politicians to be as indistinguishable as possible.
Seventy years after China emerged from the Second World War, the greatest threat facing the nation's leadership is not imperialism but skepticism. Leaders & Leadership ;War & Peace
The Beijing government avidly asserts its control over matters of reincarnation as a way of securing the loyalty and political complexion of influential Tibetan figures. Government
The Central Propaganda Department is the highest-ranking censorship agency in China. And it has control over everything from the appointment of newspaper editors to university professors to the way that films are cut and distributed.
The Da Jing street market is little more than a few narrow intersections, barely six blocks long. But for a visitor, it is a living, breathing education in Shanghai cuisine, a style distinguished by its thick savory sauces spiked with sugar and soy sauce. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The devotion that young Chinese feel to the Internet is driven by deep factors ranging from youth unemployment and income inequality to political repression and the demographic imbalance between men and women. Women
The fastest way to get around the southern Chinese city of Foshan is on the back of a motorcycle-for-hire.
The only real mystery in the stories of political plagiarism is its durability in an age of Turnitin and other scanning software that can protect an author from his own mistakes, intentional or otherwise.
The problem is that in order to publish a book in mainland China, you have to agree to be subject to censorship. That's the nature of the system. I don't challenge that system on its face. It's their system. But as an author, I have a choice to make whether I'll participate or I won't. Nature
The subject of human rights in China confounds absolute pronouncements.
The U.S. must differentiate between controversial assertions of power, like those in the South China Sea, and fair reflections of China's growing contribution to the world, such as the new banks. Power
The United States, of course, in the late 19th century was extraordinarily corrupt.
There was a docudrama that was made, called 'The Death Of A Princess,' which was about a true story in Saudi Arabia. It was about a public execution for adultery. And when the movie was aired on British television, the Saudi government threatened to cut off oil exports and to cut off diplomatic relations. Death ;Government
There's a deep underlying unpredictability to life that is thrilling. In China, my wife would say you go out to buy toilet paper, and you come back, and something interesting or revealing or funny happened on the way. Life ;Humor
There's a national ambition, a collective, in a sense, political ambition, which I think is the thing we see from far away. That's the fact that China's building roads and airports and extending its reaches out into the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and in a way that's putting it into some tension with its neighbors.
There's a reason the Chinese government is very concerned about Ai Weiwei. It's because he has all of these ingredients in his life that allow him to attract enormous attention across a very broad spectrum of the population. Life ;Government
There's a tradition in the history of dissent in authoritarian countries of a certain kind of dissident, and their form of dissent is to live their lives as normally as possible. History
To Confucius, harmony was consensus, not conformity. It required loyal opposition.
To my surprise, the more I searched about Qi Xiangfu, the more I found of a life lived partly online. He once wrote a short memoir in which he described himself in the third person, with the formality usually reserved for China's most famous writers. Life ;Fame
Usually when you interview somebody for a number of hours, they'll say something that is self-aggrandizing or is a manipulation of the facts.
Valuing the road over the goal was a Taoist goal in itself.
Vladimir Putin was awarded an advanced degree by the St. Petersburg Mining Institute with the help of a dissertation that, as two Brookings researchers discovered, included sixteen stolen pages - and, remarkably, not a single set of quotation marks.
Walking, it turns out, is a sublime way to get to know people in China. They're used to meeting strangers on the road. Many here understand what it feels like to walk a long way.
We binge on instant knowledge, but we are learning the hazards, and readers are warier than they used to be of nanosecond-interpretations of Supreme Court decisions. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
When I lived in Beijing in 1996, it was a horizontal city. If you wanted to go out for a burger, if you wanted to really treat yourself, you went to this place called the Jianguo Hotel. The architect had proudly described it as a perfect replica of a Holiday Inn that he had seen in Palo Alto, California.
When I moved to Beijing in 2005 to write, I was accustomed to hearing the story of China's transformation told in vast, sweeping strokes - involving one fifth of humanity and great pivots of politics and economics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
When I was a student there in the mid-1990s, they had just created the weekend; depth and individuality were slowly returning after the austere, colorless low of the 1970s. When I returned to live in China from 2005 to 2013, the country was building everything anew.
When Libya was in turmoil in 2011, the Chinese public was surprised to discover that more than thirty thousand of their countrymen were living there, most of them working on Chinese-run oil projects.
When Richard Nixon came to Beijing in the winter of 1972, China was still in the throes of the Cultural Revolution, so it had a limited array of entertainment to provide.
When the British-Malaysian photographer Ian Teh first worked in China, more than a decade ago, he rendered it as a nation of people in Technicolor.
When you live in Beijing for a while, you gain a finely tuned understanding of air.
Young Chinese, who have grown up in an age of prosperity and stability, are typically the most passionate defenders of the Chinese political and economic way.