In Person

THE PEKING EXPRESS–The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China

April 19, 2023
6:30 - 8:00 PM EDT

In May 1923, when Shanghai publisher and Chicago Tribune reporter John Benjamin Powell bought a first-class ticket for the Peking Express, he pictured an idyllic overnight journey on a brand-new train of unprecedented luxury—exactly what the advertisements promised. Seeing his fellow passengers, including the mysterious Italian lawyer Giuseppe Musso (a confidante of Mussolini and lawyer for the opium trade); American heiress Lucy Aldrich, sister-in-law of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.; and other prominent travelers, he was certain it would be the trip of a lifetime. He was right, but for reasons he could not have guessed.

The Peking Express, brilliantly recreated with new and original research, tells the unforgettable true story of a clash that shocked the world—becoming so celebrated that it inspired several Hollywood movies—and set the course for China’s two-decade civil war.

Join our in-person event on April 19 with James Zimmerman, a Beijing-based lawyer who has lived and worked in China for over 25 years, as he speaks with Lingling Wei, Chief China correspondent at The Wall Street Journal, about his new book THE PEKING EXPRESS–The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China.

Copies of THE PEKING EXPRESS–The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China will be available for purchase on site provided by Strand Book Store and can be signed by the author.


This program is made possible through the support of the Chinese International Education Foundation, and generous supporters of China Institute.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Speaker

James M. Zimmerman

James M. Zimmerman is a Beijing-based lawyer who has lived and worked in China for more than twenty-five years. He is among China’s leading foreign lawyers and represents companies and individuals confronted with the political and legal complexities of doing business in Mainland China. He is the author of the China Law Deskbook, published by the American Bar Association, and is frequently featured as a political commentator on US-China relations in various print and broadcast media around the globe. He is the former four-term chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. In addition to Beijing, he maintains a home in San Diego, California.

Lingling Wei

Lingling Wei is the award-winning Chief China correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and co-author of “Superpower Showdown,” a history of the U.S.-China trade and economic stand-off. Hailing from a farm province in southeastern China, she came of age as a journalist in New York in the early 2000s and returned to China in early 2011 to report on changes in her homeland. From then until 2020, when China expelled Journal reporters including Lingling, she had covered all aspects of China’s economy, its opaque policy-making process and key decision-makers. She has won many awards for her China coverage. In 2021, she’s among a team of reporters and editors whose work was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Currently living in New York, Lingling continues to focus on the intersection of the Chinese economy and politics.

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