BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : JUNE 14, 1999 ISSUE
INTERNATIONAL -- ASIAN COVER STORY

He Qinglian, Author, Economist, China (int'l edition)


When He Qinglian, 43, wrote The Pitfalls of Modernization, a hard-hitting expose of corruption and the seamier side of China's economic reform, she wasn't sure how it would be received. But not only was it a national best-seller, it became state-sanctioned reading for China's leaders as they struggled with corruption, bad banks, and unemployment. He's book is a no-holds-barred analysis of how officials have used their positions to get rich. She also writes with populist concern for those who have lost their livelihoods during China's rush to a more market-oriented economy.

He's experience during the Cultural Revolution strongly influenced her writing. At age 10, she was sent to rural Hunan province and spent seven years planting rice and laying railway tracks. That opened her eyes to the plight of China's workers. Later, He studied economics at Shanghai's Fudan University. In Shenzhen, where she now lives amid the bustle and gleaming high-rises of China's most open city, He finds inspiration: ''Being here has allowed me to witness all aspects of the reform experience.'' She hopes Chinese leaders keep paying attention.



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