Chris Johns & “the great progress”

China human rights Ni Yulan wheelchair NYTimes

Please read the whole story.
The details of Ni Yulan’s case are absolutely appalling.  

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NGM China Chris Terry with team

Chris Johns & Terry Adamson stand tall with our new publishing partners in the People’s Republic of China (2007).

How does Editor Chris Johns think about China? Here’s an excerpt from an interview he gave Christine Lu in 2008:

Christine Lu

Christine Lu

Christine Lu: Can you tell us what your specific interest in China has been on a personal level?

Chris Johns: Well, I was a staff photographer at National Geographic magazine and [for] one of my early assignments in the early ‘80s … I went to China for about four months on this fascinating story on protein and the soybean and Chinese culture. I went over there and could not get enough of China. That trip really changed the way I look at culture and look at the world. So I was very keen to get back to China after the great progress, the great moves forward they’ve made, and let our readers know how important China is to their lives.

Christine Lu: … In regards to how fast China has changed, so you must be witness when you go back these days to some really big contrasts from when you first got there.

Chris Johns: Oh, absolutely, Christine. When I was there in early ‘80s, you had to use a separate currency. You could only stay in a small selection of hotels. There were only selected places that you could shop. What was really interesting was there was still the shadow of the Cultural Revolution then. There were many people who were very reticent to speak to a journalist or speak to a Westerner at all. And of course now there’s this great thirst to reach out and to move forward. I have to say that makes for an exciting time for China and an exciting time for all of us.

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Ni Yulan China wheelchair human rights1

Ni Yulan, in a wheelchair since a police beating, and her husband, Dong Jiqin, in 2010 outside a Beijing hotel where they lived.

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≡ photo via New York Times: Andy Wong/Associated Press

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