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The genuine article

By Chen Yingqun and Yang Fang | China Daily | Updated: 2021-10-08 07:49
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Moody conducts an interview in Beijing in November 2019.[Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

'Old China hand'

In February, Moody wrote in his diary that Zhou, the editor-in-chief, referred to him as "the best writer on China's new era".

Zhou said: "Andrew's work represents the very best of China Daily, and with the quality of his writing, as well as how much he produced, he shone as an example to his peers."

Jaspan said Moody was keen to be viewed as an "old China hand", someone who knew what was really happening in China and could be contacted for honest, frank appraisals about life on the ground.

At a funeral service in Beijing, Sun Shangwu, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily, said of Moody: "He was China Daily's expert on China experts around the world. Whatever their academic or political or ideological leanings, he was proud to say that there was hardly anyone he had not interviewed or interacted with."

Jacques, the UK scholar, said Moody was "always sober, thoughtful, and open-minded, and he was now much more comfortable and confident about his work in and knowledge about China".

"His articles were always on the ball … he clearly had excellent contacts in the West because he got a range of excellent scholars to contribute to his pieces. Such contacts are not the work of a moment …"

Jacques added that Western commentary on China is "deeply flawed by ignorance and prejudice". This was anathema to Moody, who was open-minded, honest and without prejudice, Jacques said.

"He never cut corners. He reported your views with complete honesty and objectivity… He was an example to all foreign journalists," he said.

Edward Tse, founder and chief executive of Gao Feng Advisory Co, who knew Moody for more than 10 years, said: "His reports were always objective and reflective of facts. …Andrew's analysis gave his readers a set of perspectives on China that was built on deep and cutting-edge knowledge on the massive, rapidly changing country."

In a diary entry on Feb 20, after a visit to a shopping center near his home, Moody called China "a more civilized society" when compared with some Western countries. He was also keen on learning about the thoughts of different people. He often pushed forward a topic and discussed China with friends, colleagues and even doctors.

Wang, Moody's attending doctor, said, "He would show me his published stories, and discuss with me many issues, from social to international news."

She added: "He knew China very well, and all he wanted was to go on being a journalist on the ground, in this country. He expressed the idea very clearly."

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