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Charles A. Laughlin, Chair of the department of East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures has been a contributor to this textbook since its first edition in 1999, writing and rewriting an overview of literature and popular culture. Even in just the past five years since the publication of the fourth edition, dramatic changes have occurred under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. This new edition reflects those changes, exploring the impact of new domestic policies; China’s role as a behemoth in the world economy; its rapidly modernizing infrastructure; its expanding military presence in the region; the environmental challenges it confronts; the rising influence of the internet, social media, and film; and much more.