One of the remarkable things about Chinese language policy over the millennia has been the power of the writing system to unite what are disparate if related spoken varieties. We have already published one book on PRC language policy in this series, a collection edited by Minglang Zhou that covered the full range of topics including the development of Putonghua (common speech), the status of minority languages, and some interesting chapters on the reform of the writing system. This last subject is of such complexity and importance to justify adding to the series a book going into more detail on developments in efforts to manage and cultivate the writing system in the last 50 years, taking into account the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and the technological developments associated with computers and the web. It is important, we feel, to back up the common generalizations about language policy with detailed studies of specific topics, where one can observe at close hand the plans and activities of language managers, the problems they set out to solve, and their successes and failures. This is precisely what Zhao and Baldauf set out to do in this full account and analysis of the challenges met by recent efforts to adjust the Chinese writing system to new demands. We would like to express our thanks to the authors and to the others who contributed to the production of this volume.
Jr. Baldauf, Shouhui Zhao
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