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Event 1 of 37

John Simpson

Our Friends in Beijing

Starts at: Friday 15 October 6:00 PM
Finishes at: Friday 15 October 7:00 PM

John Simpson has had many extraordinary and sometimes hair-raising experiences reporting from China over the past 30 years. But he hasn’t been able to put details into his reporting that might risk exposing the people involved to danger. So he uses a novel – the perfect way to describe these things – with a light dusting of fiction.

Jon Swift is in trouble, journalistic career failing, too old for the new world order, unwilling to suck up to those in power. In Oxford, seemingly coincidentally, he runs into Lin Lifeng, former radical student who helped broadcast the atrocities of Tiananmen Square, now a smart party official with his own agenda. When Lin asks Jon to pass on a coded message, he travels to Beijing and ricochets around China, under the watchful and ruthless eyes of an international network of spies, double-agents and politicians, in a high-stakes race to expose the truth, to make sense of the ways in which China’s past and present are colliding – and what that means for the future of the country and the world.

“Engaging, rip-roaring . . . . a wry, tongue-in-cheek style that delights” Daily Mail

“Simpson’s plotting is strewn with expert analysis of international affairs and insider knowledge
of journalistic practice.”
The Spectator