MRI Forum 17

"Across China's Mirror"

by Pierre Haski


Summary of the Presentation

For the past five years, Pierre Haski has been the Beijing-based China correspondent of the french daily Liberation . He will talk about his work in China, which he describes as constantly crossing the "mirror" that separates the "different" China(s), the urban and the rural, the wealthy and the poor, that of the powerful and the one of the powerless. He will introduce his latest book: Le Sang de la Chine (China's Blood), an investigation into Henan's blood trade which has led to the contamination of hundreds of thousands of poor farmers with HIV/Aids. This book is the product of several years of travelling in the "aids villages" of Henan province, sometimes at night to avoid the surveillance of vigilantes, of contacts with doctors and activists who helped fight the attempt to cover up and bring the plight of these people to light. A story of greed and suffering which has been one of the darkest aspects of China's transformation in the past two decades.

Profile of the Speaker

Pierre Haski, 52, has been working for more than 20 years for Liberation , a Paris-based daily newspaper born in the aftermath of the May 68 student movement. He was based in South Africa under the apartheid regime, as well as in Jerusalem in the 1990s, before becoming Liberation 's Foreign Editor, and, since 2000, has been based in China. He is about to leave Beijing to return to Paris as deputy editor of his paper. He has published books about South Africa's apartheid system, about Israel, and is the author of The diary of Ma Yan , a tale of rural poverty and the right to education which has been translated in 17 languages. His latest book, Le Sang de la Chine , published this year, received the "International Media prize" in Geneva last month.