This week on Q&A, our guest is author and former Washington Post reporter Keith Richburg. He discusses China and other countries he has lived in as a reporter for the past thirty-five years. He recounts details of the exclusive story he reported in the Post about blind Chinese activist Chen Guangchen, and his attempts to leave the country. Chen’s release was ultimately granted after negotiations involving then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He explains the co-dependency of the U.S.-China relationship and gives his personal assessment of the future of China. Richburg also shares details of the jailing of Communist Party Chief Bo Xilai which he states exposed a lot of “corruption and shenanigans” at high levels of the Chinese Communist Party. He talks about his time in Africa, where he gathered information for his first book, “Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa,” published in 1997. He explains the difficulty of entering North Korea as a journalist and provides insight through video he was able to take, into a society which few journalists are allowed to enter.
Keith Richburg graduated from the University of Michigan in 1980, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He joined the Washington Post as an intern in 1978 and served as correspondent and bureau chief in New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Nairobi, and Manila, to name a few. He has earned several awards for his oversees correspondent work, including two George Polk Awards for Foreign Reporting and for Economic Reporting. In January, 2013 he left the Washington Post to become a Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.