Time Magazine's beautiful new cover was designed by controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei:
The cover illustrates a story by Time's Beijing correspondent, Hannah Beech, looking at how China views the world ahead of President Xi Jinping's upcoming meeting with President Barack Obama.
The story argues that after years of seeing it's status as a world power "rise", China now considers itself on pretty much an equal setting with the U.S.
Here's an excerpt posted by Time:
For decades, China’s outlook on how East met West was simple: a proud, ancient civilization was brought to its knees by foreign gunboats, British opium and Japanese wartime oppression. Whenever the People’s Republic dealt with the world, it did so with a chip on its shoulder, and Xi’s forerunners larded their speeches with accusatory references to “a century of humiliation” at foreign hands. The West was regarded as arrogant overlord, democratic foe and subversive instigator rolled into one. That sense of historic injustice festered even as China’s growing economic power might have been expected to sweep away such insecurities. But the ascension of President Xi–he of the patriotic swagger, political pedigree and photogenic PLA-folksinger wife–heralds a new era of China’s interaction with the international community. Instead of simply positioning China as a vanquished, aggrieved inferior, Xi and his China Dream envision a mighty nation reclaiming its rightful place in the world, not just economically but politically and culturally too.
Time Magazine's managing editor Rick Stengel told Morning Joe today, "I actually think it's the most beautiful cover we've ever done in our history."
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