Monday, July 05, 2004
It's no surprise that what made Jiang Yanyong a national hero is the same thing that's brought him into direct conflict with mainland Chinese authorities: speaking out on things the PRC government would rather people not think about. But while suppressing discussion on SARS have the obvious side effect of allowing the disease to proliferate, suppressing discussion on the Tiananmen protests have more inconspicious consequences of, say, former young Chinese students wasting their golden years in prison. That's why, of course, we are at where we are today, imprisoning national heroes that saved countless lives.
And then, of course, there's stuff like this. "Youth palaces"?! This is a government that is increasingly losing all sense of what its people want.Stories like this truly ache my heart. I have great hopes for my ancestral home. It has a rich history, full of philosophical insight; an industrious and virtuous population; and great natural wealth. China has the potential to be a great power again, a nation that others will look to for leadership in the economic and cultural spheres . Instead, it is ruled by a regime out of touch with the people it should be serving and prone to acts of repression that make it seem small and petty. Living in the West has its not-so-great moments, but it is nothing compared to the nearly constant sense of disappointment I have for my old motherland.