China’s President Hu has left the United States, after telling American business leaders on Thursday that the two countries must treat each other with respect and as equals. He also said China would pose no military threat to any other country. But as far concessions on business or human rights practices, no progress to speak of.
Need to Know’s Jon Meacham and Alison Stewart sat down with two guests to discuss what was and wasn’t accomplished by the Hu visit. But first: Against the backdrop of this major, terribly important superpower summit between Presidents Hu and Obama, there was another, smaller but telling drama going on. It involved a Chinese-American woman, a book and a media firestorm.
Last week Yale law professor and author Amy Chua walked into our studio for an interview about her new book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” and she was nice but defensive. Just days into her media tour, it was going in a very different direction than anticipated.
When an excerpt from the book appeared in The Wall Street Journal with the headline “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” Chua and her mothering style became a meme of the week from parenting blogs to the editorial page of The New York Times. Chua was being hammered in the press and online for subjecting kids to tight controls, little downtime, verbal lashings and hours spent on music and homework. Her children have also been extremely successful, one playing Carnegie Hall at 14.
After speaking Chua, Jon and Alison are joined in studio by Jeff Yang and Howard French. Yang is the author and editor of four books about Asian culture including “Eastern Standard Time: A Guide to Asian Influence on American Culture, from Astro Boy to Zen Buddhism.” He also writes the “Asian Pop” column for The San Francisco Chronicle.
And Howard French is an award winning author, photographer and journalist who was, among other things, The New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and travels to China each summer to teach at a university there.