As China begins the 1980s, it faces perplexing questions, both old and new: Will the system that has evolved since 1949 accept daring political and economic reforms? Can the Chinese leadership end, once and for all, the contentious debate over the Cultural Revolution and the leadership of Mao Zedong? Can it strengthen currently frayed bonds of loyalty between a battered state and a skeptical society? What will a new administration in Washington mean to U.S.-China relations? These and other questions are addressed by China specialists in China Briefing, 1981, prepared by the China Council of The Asia Society. The annual's up-to-date reviews of the crucial issues facing China today will be of interest to all China watchers.