Zhou Youguang should be a Chinese hero after making what some call the world’s most important linguistic innovation: He invented Pinyin, a system of romanizing Chinese characters using the Western alphabet.
But instead, this 105-year-old has become a thorn in the government’s side. Zhou has published an amazing 10 books since he turned 100, some of which have been banned in China. These, along with outspoken views on the Communist Party and the need for democracy in China, have made him a “sensitive person” — a euphemism for a political dissident.
You simply have to hear this NPR interview to believe it. This guy is sharper than a tack at 105, and he still blogs. His criticisms of the CCP are sharp and specific. Go listen now.
NPR and PBS are the sole sources of sanity in today’s US media. Of course, they are among the right’s primary targets. If they go, I go.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.