A New Me Generation

On a Friday night in the heart of old Shanghai, the crowd at J.J.'s is working up a postsocialist sweat. Men in suits and ties gyrate with fashionably dressed young women; at small tables newly affluent entrepreneurs sip drinks between calls on cellular phones. The young people at J.J.'s revel in something unprecedented for China: personal and professional liberation. Those with the will and skill to take advantage of economic reform are freer than ever to seek their fortune, their mate and their own identity.

China's "Me generation" is less hostile to the communist regime than indifferent to it. "The government...

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