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The Insight Bureau

Keynote speakers, moderators and panellists for your event

An inspiring speaker whose life story reflects the phenomenal changes which have occurred in China.

Lijia Zhang wrote a spirited memoir as a former Chinese factory worker who grew up in Nanjing, participated in the Tiananmen Square protest and ended up an international journalist.  As a teenager Lijia Zhang worked in a factory producing missiles designed to reach North America, queuing every month to give evidence to the "period police" that she wasn't pregnant. In the oppressive routine of guarded compounds and political meetings, Lijia's disillusionment with "The Glorious Cause" drove her to study English, which strengthened her intellectual independence—from bright, western-style clothes, to organizing the largest demonstration by Nanjing workers in support of the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989.  By narrating the changes in her own life, Lijia chronicles the momentous shift in China's economic policy.

Today, she is a successful writer and columnist for international newspapers.

She is the author of a popular book called “Socialism is Great!: a worker’s memoir of the New China

She speaks at conferences and at corporate events to help people’s understanding of China’s evolution and the changes taking place in China’s society.

Sample speaking topics are”

  • Socialism is Great!  -- with insight and humour, Lijia tells about her coming of age, illustrating from where China has come and the pressing issues facing China today.
  • The Changing Role of Women in China: -- personal stories that illustrate the changes Chinese women have gone through, what the Chinese Communists did for women and the setbacks brought by the reforms in recent years.
  • A Frog in a Well: -- taking a famous Chinese story by the ancient philosopher Zhuangzhi, she talks about the Frog, trapped in a well, unable to see the great world beyond the patch of sky above, and finding the inspiration to make the jump.

Socialism-Is-Great-Book Image 2.jpg Zhang is a professional speaker and moderator about contemporary China, and international writer and commentator.  She delivers lectures at universities around the world.  She was voted one of the “40 Beijing Heroes” by TimeOut Beijing (Oct 2008) and became the subject of a BBC documentary on Peschardts People, (May 2009).  She was the recipient of the prestigious International Writer’s Program, University of Iowa, sponsored by the US State Department, 2009.  She holds a Masters degree in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

"An inspiring example of promoting the understanding between China and Britain."
Tony Blair, then UK Prime Minister during a State Visit to China in 2008"


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