Challenging China

Struggle and Hope in an Era of Change

A fascinating and complex insiders’ portrait of contemporary life inside China, written by dissidents, activists, and journalists

“A forceful and timely corrective. . . . Often fascinating and eloquent, these analyses, reports, testimonials, and poems paint a vivid portrait of the challenges facing China and the world as its nearly 1.4 billion citizens increasingly lay claim to basic human rights.” —Publishers Weekly

Interest in China has never been greater, but the voices of the Chinese themselves often escape notice. Here, finally, is a book that reverses the trend by giving us a rare and important portrait of contemporary life within China—“written with style, honesty, and expertise born of intimate and often painful experience” (Ian Buruma). Mixing powerful personal stories with sobering analysis, this revealing book encompasses a broad range of social issues, from underage prostitution to the crackdown on religion. Featuring some of the first-ever eyewitness accounts from Chinese dissidents and their families—including testimony by the relatives of the imprisoned and the executed and descriptions of life in exile—Challenging China offers rare glimpses of the country’s ongoing political turmoil, as well as hope in the rising collective resistance. By turns moving, illuminating, and outraged, Challenging China is a revealing portrait of a country whose internal politics we can no longer afford to ignore.

Human Rights in China (HRIC) is an international nongovernmental organization founded by Chinese scientists and scholars to promote universally recognized human rights in the People’s Republic of China.


“A diverse, compelling look at contemporary life in China as American companies flock to its promising market.”
“Anyone who would understand life in modern China needs Challenging China. . . . The unique struggles of the everyday Chinese person, both urban and rural, are documented here as nowhere else.”
The Midwest Book Review

Goodreads Reviews