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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  • aleks

    Only a really terrible person would think a unified Germany or a rapid collapse of the Warsaw Pact regimes in eastern Europe would be any cause for concern for the UK.

  • dawn_of_the_bread

    I love how you quote Thatcher’s opposition to a unified Germany as a mark against her name, when Britain had many historical reasons for fearing a reborn greater German reich (however unfounded). Hardly Maggie’s worst hour.
    If you want to have a go at Thatcher, maybe start at the Falklands conflict and move to the Miners’ strike by way of support for Apertheid and Pinochet’s Chile, then remember that Thatcher consistently obstructed the advance of women within her government and party.