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Lijia Zhang

travels from China

Journalist and Author

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The keynote speaker Lijia Zhang brings an authentic overview of China’s place in today’s world, with an insight into the country where she grew up. Lijia is a lecturer on China’s social issues, featured on the BBC, Channel 4, CNN and National Public Radio in US.

Our keynote speaker Zhang Lijia was born and raised on the banks of Yangtze River in 1964. At age of 16, she was pulled out of school and began her decade-long job at a rocket factory.  Bored to death by greasing machine parts, she sought escape and enlightenment in Misty Poems and began to teach herself English.

In 1990, Lijia went to England where she pursued her childhood dream of studying journalism. Three years later, she returned to China to start her career by assisting foreign journalists before becoming a freelance journalist herself.  Her features, often very human stories of China’s ‘little people’ fighting to improve their lives, have been published in South China Morning Post, Asian Wall Street Journal, Japan Times, The Independent, The Observer, Newsweek and New York Times.  In 1999, with her ex-husband, she co-authored China Remembers, a well-acclaimed oral history of contemporary China for Oxford University Press.

In 2004, the ambitious speaker Lijia Zhang received a MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London. Ever since then, she has shifted her focus to pursue her literary career. She has started to write short stories and essays back from her factory days and some were published in various newspapers and magazines in China.

Lijia’s memoir “Socialism is Great!”: A Worker’s Memoir of New China was first published by Atlas and Co. in New York in spring 2008 and then by Random House in May, 2009.  It has been translated into various languages around the world.

She is a regular speaker and lecturer on China’s social issues, being featured on the BBC, Channel 4, CNN and National Public Radio in US. She is also a talk show host for an American cable TV Blue Ocean Network.

Currently Lijia Zhang lives in Beijing with her two daughters and works as a writer, freelance journalist and social commentator.

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    Speaker Lijia Zhang Keynote Topics

    • The heartening speaker Lijia Zhang brings an authentic overview of China’s place in today’s world, with an insight into the country where she grew up.
    • Lijia can speak on any number of topics relating to her native China, including subjects in her book and dozens of articles.
    • Self-taught in English, she writes with easy charm and speaks with humor and eloquence.
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Keynote topics with Lijia Zhang