Peter Navarro, an economist who has written a number of books on China, has employed Ron Vara as a source in at least five of his works, quoting his anti-Beijing views.
Mr Navarro batted away criticism of his Ron Vara character, comparing it to director Alfred Hitchcock’s cameos in his own movies.
It was, he told the Chronicle, “refreshing that somebody finally figured out an inside joke that has been hiding in plain sight for years.”
The Telegraph could have done better there tho’:
Ms Morris-Suzuki told the Chronicle of Higher Education, which first reported the story, that she took a dim view of quoting fictional characters and was left “wondering whether there might be other invented sources in Navarro’s work”.
She said she has not discovered any, but did find a quote in one book on China credited to Leslie LeBon, whose credentials are not listed in the book. An online search revealed that Ms LeBon is an architect – and also happens to be Ms Navarro’s wife.