Lijia Zhang: A Motivational Story from Mainland China

Lijia Zhang is a rocket-factory worker turned freelance journalist, social commentator and the author of Socialism is Great! A Worker’s Memoir of the New China. Her personal story provides great insights on the changes China goes through in the past few decades. 

Zhang LiJia

LiJia Zhang is a rocket factory girl turned writer, journalist and social commentator.  She was born in 1964 and raised on the banks of the Yangtze River.  At 16, she was pulled out of school to work at a factory that produced inter-continental missiles.  As an escape route, she taught herself English.  After she went to England in 1990 LiJia dared to pursue her childhood dream by studying journalism.  Back in China a few years later, LiJia started her career as an assistant to foreign journalists before becoming a journalist of her own right.  Her features, often very human stories about the plight of China’s “little people”, have been published in South China Morning Post, Far Eastern Economic Review, Japan Times, The Independent, The Observer, Newsweek and The New York Times. Her widely acclaimed English-language memoir, “Socialism is Great!”chronicled LiJia’s decade-long experience at the rocket factory.  LiJia’s journey from a worker to a prominent social commentator reflects the great transformation undergone by China itself.  Zhang LiJia has been featured on the BBC, Channel 4, ABC (Australian) CNN, CBS and National Public Radio, among others.

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