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Five of the best books to understand modern China

From a poetic memoir of social repression to a study of the lasting impact of the Cultural Revolution – these titles are a good place to start if you want to know more about the country and its people.

It is the world’s second-biggest economy, the next big threat to global security and a country ruled by an authoritarian regime that is increasingly making its power felt beyond its borders.

But the most important part of China is the population of 1.4 billion diverse, tricky and resilient people whose choices are often very distant from the…

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