Margaret Thatcher: China’s (only) favorite woman

Of the “60 Most-Influential Foreigners Shaping the Last 60 Years of Chinese Development“, the China Global Times decided that Margaret Thatcher was the only woman who made the cut. 70 percent of the finalists were selected by readers, while 30 percent were recommended by “academics”.
Margaret Thatcher is best known as Britain’s shining example of virtue, who opposed the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification. She earned a spot because she gave Hong Kong back to the People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, even Michael Jackson and the former soccer coach for Yugoslavia made the list.
A China-friendly choice would be Svetlana Orlova, who led a delegation of Russian women to China for Russia’s National China Week. Other figures such as Hillary Clinton, who has been interacting with China professionally for decades, and Aung San Suu Kyi, are too controversial.
Will Michele Flournoy, the current U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, make the list in another 10 years? Let’s hope the next decade yields more recognition for smart women leaders like Flournoy who continue to interact with China.

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